Africa’s second most populous country wants more foreign direct investment in agriculture, energy, transport, and manufacturing, among other sectors, as it seeks to sustain an average economic growth rate of 11% over the past decade, according to Wegayehu Berga, the minister counsellor of business promotion at the Ethiopian embassy in Pretoria.
However, at an investment briefing organised by the Gordon Institute of Business Science recently, PPC and Group Five, which are establishing themselves in the country, detailed tales of a slow-to-reform bureaucracy still married to paperwork, slow in decision-making and still protective of its dominance of the economy.
The trade relation between South Africa and Ethiopia has grown both in value and volume from 42 million USD in 2004 to 95 million USD in 2011. Ethiopia exports various products such as dried kidney beans, white pea beans, coffee, roses, ginger, leather, and semi-manufactured gold to South Africa, while it imports coal, petroleum, medicine, explosives, and vehicles.
The bilateral relation of the countries, which is based on the spirit of Pan-Africanism and on African goodwill, has steadily been growing. Both countries are committed to the consolidation of the African Agenda and the centrality of NEPAD in the continent’s efforts to deal with the twin challenges of poverty and underdevelopment.