House Passes the First Industrial Park Bill for the Country


The Bill was drafted by EIC with government and private sector stakeholder inputs




The House of Peoples’ Representatives enacted the Industrial Park Bill on March 31, 2015, the same day it heard the report from the House Industry Affairs Standing Committee, which had been reviewing the document since March 10.

Even though the development of industrial parks is one of the priorities of the government’s Growth & Transformation Plan, it has never been backed by any rules and regulations, states Proclamation 23/2015.

As stated in the Bill’s preamble, the World Bank (WB) and other organisations had also expressed concerns that could have affected the continuation of their support in the absence of clear regulations regarding the Industrial Park Bill. The WB is financing the second phase construction of Bole Lemi Industrial Park, which covers 18ha of land, and the Kilinto Industrial Park, on 308ha, at a cumulative cost of 250 million dollars.

The absence of clear rules that state the rights and obligations of major players such as industrial park developers and operators has also created a gap in infrastructure development and other facilities such as banks and Customs Authority office within the park, stated Shiferaw Solomon, vice director of Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC). But as per the new proclamation, industrial park developers are required to include the development of these facilities and other related services in their master plan.

The proclamation includes some incentives to encourage investors such as creating duty free park for the manufacturers within the perimeters of the industrial park. Furthermore, industrial park developers will be granted a 10-year tax hiatus if they are located in Addis Abeba and within 45Km radius of Addis Abeba while other parks beyond 45Km radius will have a 15-year tax hiatus.

The preparation of the Bill by the Ethiopian Investment Commission had inputs from the Ministry of Industry (MoI), IPDC and regional governments as well as a Chinese group that conducted a study and forwarded recommendations on its own.

The Council of Ministers is expected to issue regulations that will be followed by directives necessary for its implementation that will be prepared by the Ethiopian Investment Board, said Sissay Gemechu, CEO of IPDC. The Ethiopian Investment Board, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, will oversee the administration and supervision of the parks. It will also decide on complaints raised from industrial park developers and operators.

Currently, there are four operational parks including Bole Lemi 1 and 2, Eastern Industrial Park and George Shoe and two in the process of establishment. Ayka Addis, a Turkish textile factory and government’s joint project and Huagian industrial park are the ones in the process of establishment. The government has also set out to develop industrial parks that will be located in Dire Dawa, Hawassa, Mekelle and Kombolcha, on a total area of 5,130ha of land.



By SNETSEHAY ASSEFA
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on April 6, 2015 [ Vol 15 ,No 779]


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