A growing number of German companies operating in Ethiopia have expressed “high expectations” regarding Ethiopia’s economic prospectsin the coming years, according to the first Business outlook survey conducted by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in East Africa and the Embassy of Germany in the capital.
Some 39 German companies took part in the Global Business Outlook Survey, part of the initiatives of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the vast majority of them saw the lack of foreign currency as a pressing issue in the country.
“The result of the survey amongst German businesses here in Ethiopia showed that Ethiopia has great potential for business,” said German ambassador, Brita Wagener. “I am very pleased to see the country evolve towards being a strong economic partner in the region. The progressive spiritofthe country’s leadership in focusing on development activities and economic reforms are very encouraging.”
The Government of Germany has been a strong partner to development programs in Ethiopia, investing heavily on infrastructure, educational endeavors and development. Ethiopia’s early Public Housing Projects, the rapid growth of its universities, the training of hundreds of entrepreneurs involved in construction projects were a direct result of the partnership between both nations.
The Government has recently helped create the mechanism to lure private German investment into Ethiopia, as part of nation’s desire to become a middle income nation by 2025.
The government has opened negotiations to bring to Ethiopia notable Germany brand-name companies such as Volkswagen and have it open its second factory in the regionnext to Rwanda;furthermore DHL has also renewed its once aborted relationship with Ethiopian Airlines.
“To have 64 percent of companies express satisfaction in their current investment is no small feat. Of course, there are still some challenges such as the Forex shortage which hamper international business. Nevertheless, this country is ripe with opportunities for partnership, trade and investment,” said Maren Diale-Schellschmidt, the soon-to-be country director of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Eastern Africa (AHK), at a press conference held at Ramada Addis on Monday.
The government agency has been serving its interest in Ethiopia from its regional office in Nairobi, Kenya. Its new satellite office is to become its 141st office worldwide operational in 92 counties.
Ambassador Brita also promised to review the growing visa rejections coming out of the German embassy by Ethiopian entrepreneurs in the capital. “We do not reject genuine business persons and the only reason we reject them is when their application is lacking the information that are needed to make a decision on their file,” she said.