The UAE-Ethiopia Business Advisory Council recently held a meeting in Addis Ababa where it outlined plans to ease the investment process for UAE companies operating in Ethiopia and remove existing barriers to bilateral trade. The council, led by the UAE Embassy in Addis Ababa and supported by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was established in 2018 as a support system for UAE investors and Ethiopian businessmen.
The main responsibilities of the council include: identifying business opportunities for UAE investors in Ethiopia, addressing common challenges faced by UAE companies in the African country, promoting business exchange by facilitating companies’ participation in trade fairs and fostering constructive dialogue between public and private sector stakeholders.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the UAE Embassy in Addis Ababa, Emirates Airlines, Ethiopian National Bank, Dashen Bank and the Ethiopian Investment Commission who serve as members of the council’s steering committee in addition to members of the local business community, including representatives from UAE companies that maintain a presence in Ethiopia.
During the meeting, members reviewed the council’s activities and achievements over the last year, which include supporting UAE companies with business setup and business matchmaking in Ethiopia and familiarising them with attractive investment opportunities and projects emerging in the market.
Several recommendations for enhancing the council’s impact in 2020 were outlined. Among the key suggestions were preparing a comprehensive strategic road map document and investment guide, assessing potential trade obstacles, hosting business forums and establishing a digital platform connecting traders.
Representatives from Dubai Chamber discussed the achievements and activities of the organisation’s Addis Ababa office. In 2019, the office facilitated 336 meetings with over 665 delegates, participated in 50 external events, hosted 6 events attended by 485 stakeholders, organised 3 trade missions to Dubai that were joined by Ethiopian businessmen and supported a delegation visit to Ethiopia led by the UAE Ministry of Economy in which 40 companies and 80 delegates from the UAE participated.
Mr. Talal Abdulla Al Azeezi, Head of African Union Section – UAE Embassy – Ethiopia, expressed his gratitude to the UAE Ethiopia Business Advisory Council as it works closely with private and public sector stakeholders to identify business opportunities in the Ethiopian market for UAE companies and motivating cooperation between Ethiopian business communities and UAE companies.
Al Azeezi added that the UAE is fully prepared to put its cumulative experiences in the areas of entrepreneurship and successful management of emerging sectors to enhance the role of the Council. For his part, Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at Dubai Chamber, stressed the crucial role of the council in addressing the needs of UAE companies and investors in Ethiopia, capitalising on bilateral business opportunities and facilitating new partnerships.
Khan explained that the council provides a platform for UAE companies to lend their expertise and investment in key sectors where Ethiopia is looking to fill market gaps. “The council is making considerable headway in facilitating bilateral business exchange and helping UAE companies capitalise on untapped business potential in high-potential sectors within the Ethiopian market,” he said, adding that Dubai Chamber is fully committed to supporting the Council and its efforts to promote bilateral trade.