Rome - 13 May 2016
Rome, 13 May 2016 – The Country Presentation Ethiopia was held today at the headquarter of ICE – Agency for the foreign promotion and for the internationalization of the Italian companies, co-organized by UNIDO and ICE.
The initiative, which is part of the support activities that UNIDO is providing to the Ethiopian government, has been featured by the participation of the Industry Minister, HE Mebrahtu Meles, which has described the opportunities offered by the African country in several sectors, such as the agro-industry, the textile and the tanning. Furthermore, he had the opportunity to present the “First International Agro-Industry Investment Forum – Unleashing the Ethiopia’s Investment Potential”, that will take place in Addis Abeba in October, 5th – 7th of 2016.
The Country Presentation has been opened by the General Manager of ICE, Mr. Roberto Luongo, which has been followed by the speeches of Ms. Diana Battaggia, the UNIDO ITPO Italy Director, Mr. Matteo Landi, from the UNIDO Headquarter, Fabio Melloni from the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development and HE Mulugeta Alemseged Gessese, the Ethiopian Ambassador in Italy. The event has been concluded by the speech of the Secretary of State of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Mr. Ivan Scalfarotto.
“Commercial exchange between Italy and Ethiopia – as pointed out by the General Manager of ICE, Roberto Luongo, - is still far from expressing its real potentialities and it is highly restricted. It has constantly grown during the last years, and it has reached 365 million of euros in 2015, with a 14% increase rate in comparison to 2014. Our country – has continued Luongo – is the second commercial partner at the European level”.
In particular, 45% of our export is based on machinery and equipment, mostly industrial specialized machineries which are employed in different sectors. Then, it follows, with 17% of the exports, the field of vehicles, towing and semi-towing machines. Concerning the import, more than 61% is based on agricultural products (coffee, oil seeds and other products from permanent cultivations), and with the 28% within the tanning industry. In November 2015 the statistics revealed a growth rate that reached 11%.
As highlighted by the UNIDO delegates, “Ethiopia has been chosen as Focus Country for the Organization through a specific activity of Partnership at the Country level (PCP); a partnership platform that UNIDO, together with the Ethiopian government, has launched in order to promote the second industrial revolution in the Country, which will be mostly based on three sectors, in particular the agro-industry, the textile and the tanning. For this reason UNIDO ITPO Italy is playing a crucial role for the companies relationship of these two countries. The investment opportunities identified by UNIDO will be described the next October at the Agro-Industry Investment Forum, that will feature the presence of a delegation of Italian companies”.
“Ethiopia – as stated by the Secretary of State of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Ivan Scalfarotto in his conclusions – is a country to whom we should look at with interest, not only for the solid growth rates but also because it is a stable and safe market with its 90 million of inhabitants, which could represent a future reference market for our companies”.
Ethiopia, according to the World Bank data, is a country that is oriented and working toward the future; within a couple of generations it has developed an economy with the highest growth rate worldwide, and it aims to transform itself, within 2025, into a middle-income economy. According to a study from Ernst&Young, Ethiopia will be in the top four manufacturing countries of Africa within 2025.
The Ethiopian Government has proposed a five-years development plan, Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) 2016-2020, that will focus on priority sectors (textile, tanning, agriculture, pharmaceutical, energetic), on infrastructures, on human resources development and on services, with the stated aim to make Ethiopia an industrial giant for manufactures, and for this reason, great efforts are currently underway in order to attract foreign investments in the sector.
During the day, the Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks were also presented, an interesting opportunity for those willing to work and operate within an economically attracting Country, both for its political stability and high growth rate, but also because of its strategic position within the Center-East Africa, its low-cost human resources and its wide internal market, in which a peculiar mention is needed for the constant growth and expansion of the agro-alimentary sector and within the agriculture products transformation process.
The event has been concluded with bilateral meetings.