The EU-Ethiopia Business Forum took place from 13-15 May in Brussels

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The EU-Ethiopia business forum took place in Brussels, attracting some 200 high-level investors from EU,  top officials from Ethiopian government as well as the EU Commission. Opening remark as well as presentations were made by Mr. Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) of the European Commission , HE Dr. Markos Tekle, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abebe Abebayehu, Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission as well as Ms. Eleni Kyrou, Head of the European Investment Bank representative to Ethiopia and the African Union. The goal of the forum was to provide important and practical information to potential investors who are interested in doing business in Ethiopia.As part of the forum, the EU Business Forum (EUBFE) through its board chairman Mr. Ben Depraetere, moderated a panel discussion entitled “Doing Business in Ethiopia”. The panel was composed of three notable guests;  Mr. Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa,  Mr. Dougie Brew, Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business Director Africa of Unilever and Mr. Melaku Ezezew, President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sector Associations.

Breakout sessions on agro-processing, textile and apparel, ICT as well as Pharma sector took place in the afternoon following the opening remarks and panel discussion, where a number of EU companies shared their experiences of investing in these sectors in Ethiopia.

The frorum also featured a company visit. A delegation that included the EIC commissioner, EUBFE executive director, guests of the forum, representative from the EU commission as well as diplomats from the Ethiopian embassy in Brussels attended a half day visit to Desmet Engineers  & Contractors (DSEC)  based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

At the end of the forum, closing remark was delivered by Mr. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, in which he pointed out to policy conviction of the commission in promoting investmentin third countries via various instruments including the external investment plan.

The last day of the EU-Ethiopia Business Forum was dedicated to a morning-long networking and B2B session, where EUBFE was able to confer with a number of EU companies who showed interest to invest in Ethiopia.

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