Officials at Debre Birhan are eyeing almost USD 400 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) as they edge closer to organize the first regional international expo in the city, which has become a preferred choice of many foreign companies involved in the manufacturing sector.
An international investment, trade, and finance exhibition will soon be held in the city, which is home to large manufacturers like Habesha Brewery, Dashen Brewery, Komari Beverages, and Juniper Glass Industries. This event is intended to reenergize national investment imperatives and draw more FDIs, beginning on January 12 and closing 10 days later.
Incentives introduced by the city’s administration and federal authorities, combined with the relative peace and stability that prevailed there, enabled Debre Birhan to grow into a hub for several foreign investors. The expo will provide an opportunity for officials to maintain the reputation they have built over the last five years.
“We aim to at least attract 80 investments using the expo,” said Asegedew Shemelis, Program Director of the Expo.
The Ethiopian Investment Commission, Industry Parks Development Corporation, and Amhara Regional State have already granted recognition to the expo, which organizers expect will draw 600 investors, 200 traders and over 100 start-ups.
“In terms of global investment, we represent the new frontier. Bearing this in mind, the expo will be a game changer,” Asegdew added.
Currently, the city is home to more than 500 local and international investors and industries. They have invested over 80 billion birr (USD 1.5 billion based on the current market price).
“The government has a target to make the metropolitan city a destination for significant investments in eastern Africa. The upcoming expo will help to advance these goals,” he stated.
Debre Birhan is the capital of the North Shoa Zone with a population of almost a quarter of a million people.