Ethiopia says approved $16 bln in investments in 2008
Director of Ethiopian Investment Authority blamed the lack of proper preparation on the part of investors.
Ethiopia licensed $16 billion worth of new investments in 2008 compared with $11 billion in 2007, but only 20 percent of the investors began operations in the year, an investment official said on Friday.
Abi Woldemeskel, director of Ethiopian Investment Authority blamed the lack of proper preparation on the part of investors, slow land lease processes and lack of credit for delays in the start of operations by the rest of investors.
"The year that just ended was a remarkable year for investment in Ethiopia," he said in a statement.
"The highest number of domestic and foreign investors with an aggregate capital of $16 billion took investment licenses."
Abi said nearly $10 billion of the investments came from foreigners while the rest came from Ethiopians.
Investors sought to put money in agriculture, industry, tourism, hotels and construction, he added.
The director cited a stable political, social and macroeconomic environment and the country's investment laws for the jump in new investments.
Ethiopia is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a World Bank arm that guarantees foreign investors in signatory countries against non-commercial risks, he said.
Abi added the global slowdown may affect the country's export volumes. Ethiopia is Africa's biggest coffee producer.
Its Finance Minister, Sufian Ahmed, said last month that annual economic growth averaged 11.6 percent in the last five years.
Reuters Last Mod: 02 Ocak 2009, 14:06