17 Czech companies were in Addis looking for Ethiopian business partners

“With a growing economy, Ethiopia is a country that offers many business opportunities. There are reasons why we should consider organizing an economic mission in this country, in the context the African continent is a priority for the Czech republic in the years to come”, said Mr. Marian Jurecka, Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, in the opening of the Ethio-Czech Business Forum and business to business meeting held in Addis Ababa on  july 24,2017.

The event was organized by the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations and Embasy of the czech republic . About 100 members of the Ethiopian business comunity have been participated during the Business to business meetings.

17 Czech companies were in Addis looking for Ethiopian business partners. This group of respected business persons have concluded functioning business deals with our members. The two countries have close to a century old political and economic relations. However, one cannot find it to the expected magnitude.  However; it is a matter of fact that the two countries have been proceeding with cultural and social aspects for many years.

The official session of the Ethio-Czech Republic Business Forum was honored by the presence of the state minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the FDRE,Dr. Kaba Urgessa , who sent a message to the Czech delegation from the ministry leadership. He said business communities of both sides need to refresh their potentials and resources to make use of the opportunities laid out in this Business to Business seminar as part of enhancing the trade and investment partnership.

Ethiopia and Czech are countries with long years of diplomatic relations. The bilateral relationship goes back many years and is being strengthened continuously.

Diplomatic relations in fact were established in the 1950s and since then the relations between Czech and Ethiopia has had their ups and downs. In fact Ethiopia and Czech Republic have enjoyed a historic relation dating back to the second half of the 18th century, and hence the relation is at the backdrop of remarkable historical reminiscences.

Due to the presence in Ethiopia of the Czech missionary, Václav Remedius Prutký (1751-1753), who was followed by a number of other travelers at the end of the 19th century, the Czech lands have had a long history of contact with Ethiopia.

Václav Remedius Prutký was a Czech who spent two years in the Ethiopian Highlands and left behind his writings for us to study. Unfortunately, the personal accounts of his travels across Ethiopia remained largely unknown to the broader public due to the success of James Bruce’s Travels to Discover the Sources of the Nile.

The relationship during the 1950s was mainly determined by the establishment of the Czechoslovak embassy in 1955, which made a significant contribution to the strengthening of mutual ties. This trend reached its zenith in 1959, when Emperor Haile Selassie I visited Prague in order to negotiate the general conditions for a series of treaties deepening the level of political, economic and cultural cooperation. The historical visit of the Emperor to Czech in that year was as a milestone in diplomatic history of the two countries.

The first main Czechoslovak commercial project to be undertaken in Ethiopia after World War II was the construction of an ammunition factory in Addis Ababa. The ammunition factory was also the first facility where Czech experts were used for both the construction work and in the training of local workers.

Even by the early 1960s, an experimental farm, Ciaffa, had been established in order to explore new approaches to agriculture. Other concrete examples of Czechoslovak assistance in the development of Ethiopian industry include the hydroelectric dam, Melka Wakana, a textile factory in Kombolcha, the construction of a new military hospital, breweries in Harar and Bedele, the development of vineyards, and the sending of several dozen medical doctors to Ethiopia.

In spite of all these good beginnings however, the current trade and economic relations between the two countries is not to the satisfactory level.

Trade between the two countries during the period, 2010-2016, is worth USD 146 million.  Although the trade balance seems to slightly favor Czech Republic where Czech’s export to Ethiopia exceeds its import by USD of 21 million during the same period, the trade relations still remains very low compared to the potential we all have.

Some of the major goods exported to Czech Republic include: coffee and Kidney beans. On the other hand, the major imported commodities from Czech include: Bridges and bridge sections, Processing units, Cans, iron or steel, Aircraft launching gear, Aircraft parts and other industrial products. The fact that the trade relation between the two countries has significantly increased by 2014 with a growth rate of 200% is a promising picture to envisage better performances in the future.

In 2007, this month both countries have signed a Convention on Avoidance of Double Taxation.  However, the convention has not been exploited to the best operators of both sides.

The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations is employing a number of business development instruments to enhance Ethiopia’s trade and investment ties with countries in the European Union, including Czech Republic.


Workshop Closes 10th AGRIFEX-Ethiopia Fair

The closing ceremony of the 10th Specialized International Agriculture and Food Exhibition (AGRIFEX-ETHIOPIA) took place in a workshop on the theme ‘Bridge Financing and Working Capital Availability in Agro-processing Industry’. The day also included ‘best stand award’ program for exhibitors. The event took place at Hilton Addis on May 16, 2017.

The presenter started his presentation by explaining the concept ‘bridge finance’ and went on to describe situation business enterprises face in the country.

Bridge financing is a short-term loan to help companies. It is “an interim financing option used by companies and other entities to solidify their short-term position until a long-term financing option can be arranged.

There are 455 large and medium scale agro-processing manufacturing industries functioning. According to World Bank (2015) only 1.9 percent of these have access to loans; with medium enterprises being more credit constrained than micro and large enterprises.

In describing the financial situation in Ethiopia, the presenter mentioned some features of banking in the country. The Ethiopian banking sector is dominated by state-owned banks (CBE and DBE) and raised some pointers of this assertion. State bank claims 50.7 percent of capital accumulation, deposit share of 65.7 percent, and is price-leader in interest rates, among other things.

Collateral-based lending system, shortage of hard currency, access to finance mishaps, gaps regarding government policies and regulations, and low capacity of the private sector could also be mentioned as other challenges facing the finance service sector.

Following the presentation participants raised some issues and shared their opinions. The final part of the day’s program was an awarding ceremony for best stand exhibitors in which five companies received the awards.


Chamber 10th Specialized AGRIFEX-ETHIOPIA Opens

The 10th Specialized International Agriculture and Food Exhibition (AGRIFEX-ETHIOPIA) has been opened at Addis Ababa Exhibition Center on May 11, 2017. The event, organized by Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations under the motto ‘agro-processing for agricultural transformation’, was opened by Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, H.E. Dr. Eyasu Abraha, and was attended by foreign embassy and other dignitaries. Some 35 foreign and 25 local companies are taking part in the trade fair. The event will continue until May 15.

Addis Chamber Deputy Secretary General, Ato Shibeshi Bettemariam, in a speech he delivered underlined the significance of agriculture in Ethiopia. Agriculture is the lifeline of millions. In the just ended 2016 fiscal year agriculture and allied activities contributed 36.7% of GDP, which in value terms mean a total of 274 billion birr. Agriculture still contributes 80% of the total employment in the country, he said.

H.E. Dr. Eyasu Abraha, while opening the event said, agro-processing sector could make a significant contribution to the transformation of agriculture and by extension rural and national development. Vibrant agro-industrial activities can expand the markets for primary agricultural products, add value by vertically integrating primary production and food processing systems and minimize post-harvest losses.

H.E. Dr. Eyasu went on to mention a challenge. One of the major concerns for policy makers and business operators is whether local firms could cope with the rapidly changing business dynamics and the resultant fierce competition from all corners of the world. One cannot afford to ignore the challenge from global competition.

The event will be closed in a discussion on related theme of the event on May 15, 2017.



First AgroChemEx Ethiopia & Africa Crop Protection Forum kicks off in Addis

“AgroChemEx Ethiopia & Africa Crop Protection Forum” organized by AACCSA and China Crop Protection Industry Association (CCPIA) is being held on May 9-10, 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Addis Ababa. “AgroChemEx Ethiopia & Africa Crop Protection Forum” brings more than 13 Chinese agrochemical producers /manufacturers and aims to discuss bilateral business relations and investment opportunities between Ethiopia and China companies.

Agriculture is the pillar of the country’s economy. It provides food, employment to the large population and raw material for industries. Agrochemicals therefore paly very important roles for agricultural productivity by enhancing yield.

Accordingly the two associations’ joint effort aims to strengthen and scale up industrial reputation of Agrochemical sector in Ethiopia and shape it into a large scale and influential agrochemical event in Africa.

As one of the various services AACCSA render to the business community, Addis Chamber plays a catalyzing role by organizing in-bound and out bound trade missions and facilitating meetings and discussions with Ethiopian counterparts.

Chamber ‘s experience so far has proved that such business to business linkages such as the one it organizes today create irreplaceable opportunities for businesses to partner and work together for mutually beneficial business interests.

According to Ato Shibeshi Beteemariam, Deputy Secretary General of AACCSA, the trade and investment forum organized by Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations and our Chinese counterpart, the China Crop Protection Industry Association, will have paramount importance to enhance the economic and trade relations between the two sisterly countries by bringing together businesses of the two countries to explore more opportunities. The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations will continue to play an active role with a view to promote trade and investment.

The forum is targeted policy makers of agro-chemical industry, investors of large scale farms, importers and manufacturers and other agro-chemical business operators of the country.

Dr Eyasu Abraha,Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the FDRE in his opening speech said Ethiopia’s development policy is anchored much on the development of agriculture and Agro chemical industry is one of the critical sub sector to promote import substitution, enhance agricultural value addition and boost productivity.

The forum which involved a combination of presentations and interactive discussions and it was a great opportunity for in depth cooperation, exchange of business ideas, as well as promoting bilateral relations in agrochemicals field, including investment, and joint-venture.


AACCSA Conducted Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) awareness raising workshop

Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association (AACCSA) conducted Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), a business solution awareness raising workshop in collaboration with AFRICOM PLC, ERP Software consult, on April 4, 2017 at Sario Maria Hotel.

ERP is an optimum business solution product which will constantly guide and track business flow starting from planning, quality control to sales volume. The workshop was the continuation of AACCSA’s manufacturing support program of ICT value chain networking planned to introduce ERP for business efficiency and competitiveness specifically for manufacturing and construction sectors.

The purpose of the workshop was to demonstrate one of IT product which provides business solution. It is a software solutions promote visibility throughout the entire organization, allowing decision makers to improve business operations such as; inventory management, accounting, order management, human resources, supply chain,  product lifecycle, customer relationship management (CRM) among others.

Dr Worku Alemu, AFRICOM ERP Software consultant described Why Today’s manufacturers need a modern ERP system. He further described the system solve a number of challenges and provide invaluable benefits to manufacturers seeking to reduce

     costs,

     manage growth,

     streamline processes and

     gain a competitive advantage.

It is an “information hub” delivers accurate, real-time information crucial to the manufacturing industry.



የአዲስ አበባ ንግድና የዘርፍ ማህበራት ምክር ቤት ከዛምቢያ የንግድ እና ኢንዱስትሪ ምክር ቤት ጋር የመግባቢያ ሰነድ ተፈራረመ

መጋቢት 20 2009 ዓ.ም በዛምቢያ ይፋዊ ጉብኝት ያደረጉት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ ከዛምቢያው ፕሬዚዳንት ኤድጋር ቻግዋ ሉንጋ ጋር መክረዋል ሲል ፋና ብሮድካስት ኮርፖሬት ዘግቧል ። በዚህም የሁለቱን ሀገራት የንግድ ግንኙነት ለማሳደግ ዛምቢያ ቁርጠኛ መሆኗን ፕሬዚዳንት ሉንጉ ለጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማርያም አረጋግጠውላቸዋል ብሏል። የአዲስ አበባ ንግድና የዘርፍ ማህበራት ምክር ቤት እና የዛምቢያ የንግድ እና ኢንዱስትሪ ምክር ቤት ደግሞ የመግባቢያ ሰነድ ተፈራርመዋል። የዛምቢያ የንግድ እና ኢንዱስትሪ ምክር ቤት ምክትል ፕሬዚዳንት አንድሪው ሲንያንግዌ  የመግባቢያ ሰነዱ መፈረም የሁለቱን ሀገራት የንግድ ግንኙነት እንደሚያሳድግ ተናግረዋል ሲል ዘገባው አመልክቷል።

ኢትዮጵያ እና ዛምቢያ በተለያዩ ዘርፎች ትብብራቸውን ማጠናከር የሚያስችሏቸውን ስምምነቶች መፈራረማቸውን የዘገበው ፋና ብሮድካስት ኮርፖሬት ፤ ሁለቱ ሀገራት በኮሙዩኒኬሽን እና በውሃ አስተዳደር ዘርፍ ሁለት ስምምነቶችን መፈራረማቸውን ገልጿል። ከስምምነቱ ፊርማ በኋላ ከጋዜጠኞች ጋር ቆይታ የነበራቸው የዛምቢያ የኢንፎርሜሽን እና ብሮድካስት አገልገሎት ሚኒስትር ሙለንጋ ካምፓምባ፥ ኢትዮጵያ እና ዛምቢያ በኮሙዩኒኬሽን ዘርፍ ያደረጉት ስምምነት ሀገራቱ በሚዲያው ኢንዱስትሪ ተባብሮ መስራት ያስችላቸዋል ብለዋል።

በ28ኛው የአፍሪካ ህብረት የመሪዎች ጉባዔ በአዲስ አበባ ቆይታ የነበራቸው የዛምቢያ ፕሬዚዳንት፥ ሃገራቸው ከኢትዮጵያ የግብርና፣ የቆዳና የጨርቃጨርቅ የልማት ስኬቶች ልምድ መውሰድ እንደምትፈልግ መናገራቸውን ፋና በዘገባው አስታውሷል።ኢትዮጵያ ኢንዱስትሪን በማስፋፋት ረገድ እያሳየች ያለውን ዕድገት በተሞክሮነት መውሰድ እንፈልጋለን ሲሉም ገልፀው ነበር ብሏል።


Concluding Workshop on Green Economy in Ethiopia Happens

The final workshop on ‘interaction of industrial policy and green economy in Ethiopia’ deliberated on various aspects of green economy. Project background, benchmarking results, analysis of systems of innovation, governance and policy analysis, policy gaps and pulling together findings as well as cases from Asia were areas where presenters from Ethiopian Development Research Institute in cooperation with University College London, University of Reading, and Quantum Global Research Lab shared findings and prospects. The workshop was organized by these three bodies and the event took place at Hilton Addis on March 14, 2017.

The project was kicked off on May 4, 2015 and a lot of work has been done since then, it was disclosed. The aim of the green economy project is to deepen understanding on the issue with concrete purpose to streamline climate resilient green economy (CRGE) in industry policy and practice, says Professor Yakob Mulugeta of University College London.

The project focused on three sectors: cement, leather and textile. These sectors have been selected, among other things, because they are key priorities for structural transformation, their high growth potential, and high pollution potential.

Climate resilient green economy and industry strategy are not met. Information from universities and research centers is poorly linked. This is a policy area to make findings of researches directly applicable in industry. Ethiopian green innovation needs to be streamlined, interaction among innovation system actors needs to be facilitated, mix of economic incentives and environmental regulations be implemented, it was underlined.


The 21st Addis Chamber International Trade Fair Closes

The 21st edition of Addis Chamber International Trade Fair has its closing ceremony in a symposium organized on the theme “overcoming trade logistics barriers for enhanced export performance”.  The ceremony included a ‘best stand award’ program, which is in recognition of exhibitors with the best performance of the trade fair days of this edition. The event took place at Hilton Addis, on February 28, 2017.

The presentation showed limitations in the Ethiopian logistics system and came up with figures to corroborate the claim. It said that logistics performance index puts Ethiopia 126th out of 160 countries. In customs, infrastructure, international shipment, logistics quality & competence, tracking & trading, and timeliness Ethiopia exhibited poor performance in that it registered below mid-point of the indicator or there about.

Poor performance in trade finance and trade system is behind the poor logistics performance of Ethiopia, the presenter said. Poor coordination, inadequate infrastructure and poor facility management, are other indicators of Ethiopia’s performance. Trade competiveness is influenced by transit time and logistics cost, he said.

High Djibouti port charge, the long dwell time /22 days/, and high inland transport are major factors indicated doing harm to the logistics system. Transaction cost, which takes a big share of the overall cost, is high.

Following the presentation, many ideas were forwarded by participants of the discussion. Best stand award ceremony of the trade fair was the final part of the program.


21st Addis Chamber International Trade Fair Opens

Addis Chamber International Trade Fair 21st edition has been opened on February 23, 2017and will continue until February 30. Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations Trade and Investment Promotion Department organizes four trade fairs throughout the year.  This year’s Addis Chamber trade fair carries the motto ‘conducive environment for enhanced export performance’.

Participants of the trade fair came from about two dozen nations and include Italy, India, Dubai, and Sudan. There were about 100 foreign companies and around 80 local ones, including small and micro-enterprises.

The closing program of the event will be a symposium under the theme “overcoming trade logistics barriers for enhanced export”. The symposium will be followed by discussion and exchange of ideas surrounding theme and major issues raised in it. The closing ceremony will be tipped with recognition of ‘best standing award’ for exhibitors. Reception and networking wind up the day. The event will take place at Hilton Addis on February 28, 2017.