Investment Commission Launches Online Guide


The platform provides information on the terms and conditions of investment




The government has launched an online database system dubbed iGuide in a bid to provide information for investors entering into the country.

Announced by the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) after three months of preparations, the system was designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development and the Economic Commission for Africa. It has taken three months to launch online.

On its website, the platform provides information on costs and prices of labour, taxes, rent values and transportation. It also contains licensing requirements, contacts and the experiences of established investors.

Data on the platform can be updated whenever changes occur to legislation, prices or when cost adjustments are made.

The iGuide allows other governments that run the system to interface and share their experiences. The data on the system can only be updated and uploaded by federal agencies.

Although the site is live online, the databases are still incomplete.

“There is still some review work that needs to be finalised before the documents pertaining to investment are released online,” Haregewoin Mirotaw, director for Information Technology & Data Management at the EIC said.

iGuide is developed to help investors be informed of the terms and conditions of investing in developing countries. Both Kenya and Rwanda have already fully launched the systems.

The UN agency has been providing investment guides, foreign direct investment statistics, policy reviews and advice on investment agreements.

Over 3.7 billion dollars flowed into Ethiopia during the last fiscal year, which is four-fifths of the target, according Belachew Mekuriya (PhD), commissioner of the EIC, who attributed failure to meet goals on recent political unrest and the forex crunch.

The EIC has also provided licenses to 275 foreign investors with a total investment capital of 5.7 billion dollars and pledged investment incentives to 8,036 companies in the form of customs and tax exemptions valued at 49 billion Br.

China, India and Turkey were the three leading sources of investment in the past fiscal year. The investments thus far have created job opportunities for more than 133,000 people, including in the newly established industrial parks, according to the EIC.

One of the significant reforms that the EIC is planning to make is incentive packages, which have been criticised as being riddled with corruption.

Zewdie Shibre (PhD), who has nearly five decades of experience at Addis Abeba University, lecturing on business, economics and management, is positive about the investment activity of the country in terms of foreign investment inflows.

He believes that investment oriented toward industrialisation will have a much broader effect on the economy.

“Agriculture-led industrialisation is the sound policy toward full industrialisation,” he said. “It makes ideal use of the nation’s resources of manpower, land and water.”



By BERHANE HAILEMARIAM
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Sep 01,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 957]


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