Ethiopia remains a crucial market for future expansion plans, Volkswagen, a major automaker says.
Top executives at Volkswagen (the biggest automaker in Europe) expressed a strong desire to invest in Ethiopia following the visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at the end of 2018.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in early 2019 by the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and the Volkswagen Group to allow the world-famous automaker to build a plant in Ethiopia.
Since that time, the business has not had practical engagement to build the assembly in accordance with the agreement.
In response to a query from The Reporter on the current state of the agreement and the company’s plans to launch operations in Ethiopia, Andile Dlamini, Head of Group Communications at Volkswagen’s South African manufacturing facility, stated that since the MoU’s signing in 2019, Volkswagen has held several meetings with EIC to discuss the key provisions of the agreement.
For the time being, the business does not, however, have concrete plans in place for the agreement’s subsequent steps.
The company’s initial strategy was to collaborate closely with Ethiopian higher education and training institutions in order to assist local talent in improving their work and enhancing their skills.
In an interview with The Reporter about potential Volkswagen investment, Stephan Auer, the German ambassador to Ethiopia, said “why shouldn’t it? The Ethiopian business environment must first be improved in order to attract German companies to invest in Ethiopia.”
If the government continues to improve the peace and stability process and the national dialogue goes well, many investors will come to see the enormous potential of Ethiopia, according to the Ambassador.
Since 1951, the German car company has been manufacturing cars in South Africa. They already manufacture cars in Algeria, Kenya, and Rwanda, and Kenya and Ethiopia are likely to be the next places they go.
The Reporter approached the commissioner of the EIC, Lelise Neme, for comment. However, this bore no fruit, as the commissioner requested to read the whole article before publication, which is against the editorial policy of The Reporter.