The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association (AACCSA) in collaboration with The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, (formerly known as PTA Bank) conducted a Workshop on “Trade & Development Finance for Sustainable Growth” at the Capital Hotel, Addis Ababa, on September 29, 2017 Ethiopia.

The purpose of the Workshop was to support of local manufacturing and corporate business integration to the COMESA market by creating awareness of TDB’s product offerings and services in Ethiopia and the region.

AACCSA is also hosting a project to establish COMESA Market Information Center with the financial supports of European Union Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM). The project aims to strength the provision of manufacturing advisory service by bridging the gap when it comes to regional market information and advice to local companies and foreign investors on how to develop trade under COMESA market.

Provision of access to finance information is one of the intervention areas of the center. According to Secretary General of the Chamber, Mr. Getachew Regassa, access to finance and availability of its information are critically relevant to business operators in the country. Providing information on access to finance is a worthwhile intervention to be undertaken by Addis Chamber to serve its members, he added. He believes that creation of awareness about financial sources and products in Ethiopia should be one of the areas the chamber needs to engage in.

TDB’s upcoming support to corporate businesses in Ethiopia is really relevant and timely, according to TDB president, Mr.Admassu Tadesse. Taking into consideration the product offerings, the TDB will help support the government and the economy in designing new initiatives to better serve the financial needs of the business community, he added. According to the president these interventions by the TDB will also complement the positive results achieved by ongoing operations of the formal banking system and equity funds.

A good number of companies from Ethiopia have participated in the event. According to reports without access to sufficient finance, firms may not realize their full growth potential. However, there are still works to be done to get various sources of finance and to build inclusive financial systems.

Although Ethiopia has not yet joined the COMESA FTA, it is a member of COMESA and has helped to establish and develop COMESA. COMESA was established with the broader objective of enhancing development among member states, and not just trade liberalization. In general, trade among Ethiopia and COMESA member states has increased, with new trade avenues opening and strong potential for further growth.

Trade and Development Bank (TDB) also known as the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, (formerly called PTA Bank), is an African regional development financial institution established in 1985. The Bank’s mandate is to finance and foster trade, socio-economic development and regional economic integration through trade finance, project and infrastructure finance, funds management and business advisory services.