The recent deadly violence and conflicts in the Sidama Zone of the Southern Regional State has become a serious concern for foreign investors forcing them to abandon their operations at the Hawassa Industrial Park, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) said.
PM Abiy Ahmed said this while meeting with the National Trade Steering Committee at his office on Tuesday to evaluate the progress made on ease of doing business in the country during the past few months and chart-out the way forward.
During the meeting, the PM indicated that the unpredictable crisis and challenges and its eventual impacts, has been frustrating the country’s economic activities as well as its national safety.
The PM and the committee reviewed the medium and long-term goals set to improve Ethiopia’s ease of doing business ranking. The government has taken several commendable measures over the past year, aimed at bringing the nation’s low-level status in the World Bank’s index for Ease of Doing Business, by addressing the bottlenecks for business activities and investment flows, violence and security crisis to boost the investment.
He further explained that the stated security related problems are also causing more deterring factors that are setting-us back in our aspirations of advancing the country’s economy in line with our target set to achieve at least three million more jobs at the end of the current fiscal year.
During the half day committee meeting, it was noted that over the recently ended fiscal year (2018/19), the government has accomplished the revision of some eight laws which have been either partially amended or fully repealed to be replaced with new legislations. Furthermore, over 40 administration related regulations were revised with improvements to address the impeding factors and challenges which have been impacting the desire of ease in doing business.
Meanwhile, it was pointed out that within the coming four or five months, the 60-year-old commercial law of the country is expected to be revised.
PM Abiy said that institutional reforms will be undertaken to create institutions that understand and implement reforms besides revising laws that help facilitate ease of doing business. According to the committee, the planned 3 million new jobs will also be part of the mechanism to reduce poverty.
The National Trade Steering Committee is established to facilitate services that would make the country competitive internationally, improve productivity and create conducive environment for investments.
Chaired by the Prime Minister, the Committee has a total of 12 members from Ministries and financial institutions (represented by Ministers and top leadership) under the federal government as well as Addis Ababa Administration (which is represented by its deputy mayor).