First International Agro-Industry Investment Forum

Addis Abeba, Ethiopia - 5-7 October 2016

First International Agro-Industry Investment Forum

Addis Ababa, 5 October 2016 – Ethiopia has become a magnet for a range of investors in the country’s manufacturing sector, attracting billions of dollars in the last years.

This was emphasized today by LI Yong, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“With foreign direct investment flows to the country amounting to over USD 2 billion in 2015 alone, Ethiopia is becoming a hot spot for investors, especially in textiles and garments,” said Li, who spoke at the First International Agro-Industry Investment Forum  that opened in the capital, Addis Ababa.

The three-day event, co-organized by UNIDO and the Government of Ethiopia, is taking place at the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Speaking at the opening, Minister of Industry, Ahmed Abtew, on behalf of Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, said: “With our Government’s unreserved commitment and strategic leadership, we are to build on our global competitive advantages in agriculture-based light manufacturing to realize our vision of becoming Africa’s light manufacturing hub by 2025.”

Participants also commended UNIDO’s new assistance model, the Programme for Country Partnership, which is being implemented in Ethiopia, as well as in Peru and Senegal.

“The Programme for Country Partnership model shows that the development objectives of the Government and the business objectives of the private sector can be aligned in such a way as to accelerate development for countries while creating economic returns for companies,” said Director General Li.

The forum will discuss Ethiopia’s investment climate and private financing, and present a total of 58 investment profiles in food processing, textiles and garments, and leather and leather products.

In this context, due to the granted expertise in the food processing sector, Italy plays a key role. More than 20 industry-leading Italian companies will attend the Forum, supported by UNIDO ITPO Italy and will partecipate at the BtoB and BtoG sessions, held on the sidelines of the event to stimulate additional domestic and foreign direct investments.

Furthermore, greenfield investment opportunities in Ethiopian regions will be presented, where four new integrated agro-industrial parks are to be established, and in this regard UNIDO ITPO Italy will follow the follow-up phase, supporting the negotiations with the Ethiopian companies and the expressions of interest for investments in these new parks.