AGM and thematic networking held

Posted in Events

20220623 175641

The EUBFE ratified several motions and elected new board members on the occasion of its annual general assembly of 2022. The AGM was hosted by Heineken breweries in their new headquarters. The executive director of EUBFE presented annual activity and audit report for FY 2021 as well as plans for 2022. 

Two motions were also presented for ratification were- the amendment of membership rules and a motion to change EUBFE's name to European Chamber in Ethiopia. The executive director and the board chairman explained to the general assembly on the background of the need for such motions. Both also responded to queries from members. After a brief deliberation, the two motions were unanimously endorsed by the general assembly. The third agenda was the election of new board members that would replace the one who served for the previous two years. Representatives of BASF Vegetable Seeds, TotalEnergies, Unilever, Heineken, Neumann Kaffe Gruppe, Krones-Ethiopia, Varnero Construction, Ethiopia-Netherlands Business Association and French Business Club came forward to take up the responsibility at the board of EUBFE. All were unanimously elected to the board.

The last session of the afternoon was a presentation by a member law firm-BonellieErede- on the new investment incentive regulation vis-a-vis the old one. Following Q&A the day was concluded with a cocktail reception. The full content of the legal review that was presented at the thematic networking can be accessed below.

New Investment Incentives Regulation Summary by BonelliErede

EUBFE was elected to the board of European Business Organization Worldwide Network

Posted in Events

P1000793IMG-20220609-WA0004
 
On the conclusion of the annual summit of European Chambers in third countires, held under the umbrella of the EBOWWN (European Business Organisations Worldwide Network), EUBFE was elected to the board of management to serve the network for the coming two years representing Africa-based European chambers. The summit which took place in Brussels from June 06-10 2022 via the support of European Commission's DG GROW (Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), saw European chambers engage with various Directorate Generals of the commission on pertinent issues faced by European companies in third markets. The first two days were dedicated for African EBOs (European Business Organisations), whereby the eleven chambers exchanged best practices and pledged to create a strong African chapter that can engage with external partners in a structured manner.
 
From 16-18 June, the various EBOs from  across the globe met and discussed with DG Trade, DG INTPA, DG , Business Europe, EuroChamber and DG CLIMA. The discussions with the various representatives of the commission informed the ensuing key steps of the network as well as create clarity on the depth of European businesses represented by this network. The last day of the summit was dedicated to AGM of EBOWWN members where the outgoing board presented its activity and financial reports, followiing which new board was elected. EUBFE was elected to lead the African voice given its stature and experience both in-country as well as on regional matters.

EUBFE Launched Its Maiden Business Climate Report and Signed MoU with Ministry of Finance

Posted in Events

Cover PageIMG 20220407 145953 408Nahom F. Abraham-EUBFE Executive Director
 
 
 

On April 6, 2022 EUBFE launched its maiden “Business Climate Report-2021” in the presence of high-level officials including H.E. State Minister of Finance H.E. Mrs. Semereta Sewasew, H.E.Mrs. Lelise Neme-EIC commissioner, H.E. Ambassador Roland Kobia-EU Ambassador to Ethiopia and H.E. Kassahun Gofe, State Minister of the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration. 

 

The report was developed in response to the need to bolster public-private dialogue between the FDI community and the public sector with evidence-based input that would, in turn foster constructive and sustainable partnership. The report's findings will be used as the foundation for further analyses and studies that will inform ensuing PPDs between the FDI community and the government. Preparation to this end has been completed, with relevant resources already mobilized. The EUBFE business climate report is based on a survey of more than 80 European businesses with operations in Ethiopia, conducted in mid-2021. It was commissioned and managed by EUBFE, and supported by the two bilateral member associations; the French Business Association in Ethiopia (CAFE) and Ethiopia-Netherlands Business Association (ENLBA).

The report provides an up-to-date assessment of the Ethiopian business environment and investment climate by the international business community, with clear evidence on what the active international business community think about their Ethiopian investments as of mid-2021, and how they view prospects for future investment. The cooperation of government ministries and agencies was commendable throughout the study, with pertinent data extended to the experts in a timely fashion. The key challenges identified were in the areas of tax, customs, delay in the renewal of licenses, access to foreign exchange, unpredictability of the business climate. With the support of the EU, further studies and analyses will be made on these findings to develop clear policy recommendations. 

 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Finance and EUBFE (including its member associations CAFE, and ENLBA) was also signed during the launch ceremony. The MoU will pave the way for a structured dialogue between the European FDI community and the ministry. Mrs. Semerata Sewasew signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. 

 

A panel discussion was held following the MoU signing ceremony, ENLBA and CAFÉ presidents as well as the EU Ambassador and EIC deputy commissioner-Ato Temesgen Tilahun, exchanged views on the finding of the report and related issues on ways of improving the business climate. The evening concluded with a cocktail reception an informal networking session. 

 
You my access the full content of the report via the link below.

Cover Page

 

 

 

On April 6, 2022 EUBFE launched its maiden “Business Climate Report-2021” in the presence of high-level officials including H.E. State Minister of Finance H.E. Mrs. Semereta Sewasew, H.E.Mrs. Lelise Neme-EIC commissioner, H.E. Ambassador Roland Kobia-EU Ambassador to Ethiopia and H.E. Kassahun Gofe, State Minister of the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration. 

The report was developed in response to the need to bolster public-private dialogue between the FDI community and the public sector with evidence-based input that would, in turn foster constructive and sustainable partnership. The report's findings will be used as the foundation for further analyses and studies that will inform ensuing PPDs between the FDI community and the government. Preparation to this end has been completed, with relevant resources already mobilized. The EUBFE business climate report is based on a survey of more than 80 European businesses with operations in Ethiopia, conducted in mid-2021. It was commissioned and managed by EUBFE, and supported by the two bilateral member associations; the French Business Association in Ethiopia (CAFE) and Ethiopia-Netherlands Business Association (ENLBA).

The report provides an up-to-date assessment of the Ethiopian business environment and investment climate by the international business community, with clear evidence on what the active international business community think about their Ethiopian investments as of mid-2021, and how they view prospects for future investment. The cooperation of government ministries and agencies was commendable throughout the study, with pertinent data extended to the experts in a timely fashion. The key challenges identified were in the areas of tax, customs, delay in the renewal of licenses, access to foreign exchange, unpredictability of the business climate. With the support of the EU, further studies and analyses will be made on these findings to develop clear policy recommendations. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Finance and EUBFE (including its member associations CAFE, and ENLBA) was also signed during the launch ceremony. The MoU will pave the way for a structured dialogue between the European FDI community and the ministry. Mrs. Semerata Sewasew signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. 

A panel discussion was held following the MoU signing ceremony, ENLBA and CAFÉ presidents as well as the EU Ambassador and EIC deputy commissioner-Ato Temesgen Tilahun, exchanged views on the finding of the report and related issues on ways of improving the business climate. The evening concluded with a cocktail reception an informal networking session. 

 

You my access the full content of the report via the link below.

EUBFE Business Climate Report-2021

 

EUBFE Business Climate Study Report 2021 Validation Sessions Held

Posted in Events

20211102 101054

As part of its strategic goal of supporting its advocacy engagement with empirical studies, the EUBFE commissioned its maiden business climate report in the middle of 2021. The draft report was presented to its members as well as government stakeholders on two separate sessions.

The validation session with member companies took place on the 21st of October in virtual setting. The consultants made a presentation of summary of the key findings, preceded by welcome and opening remarks from Nahom F. Abraham, the executive director of EUBFE, and Mr. Ben Depraetere, board chairman. Member companies who took part in the session provided key input into the report with suggestions and questions that would help in further enriching the report to reflect their perceptions and views.

The second validation session was held on November 02 2021, in the presence of key government ministries and commissions. Representatives of ministries of Finance, Trade, Revenues, Innovation and technology were in attendance. Moreover, the National Bank and the customs commission were also in attendance. The guest of honor at the session was the deputy commission of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, Mr. Temesgen Tilahun. He appreciated the efforts of EUBFE in it endeavor of working in tandem with the government in continuously improving the business climate. Ms. Sanne Willems, team leader at the EU Delegation in Ethiopia, also underscored the importance of public-private partnership and the EU’s readiness to support the country’s drive towards creating conducive environment of the private sector in general. The comments and suggestions garnered at the session, including those from the first session will be incorporated into the draft report. It is, tentatively planned that the report will be officially launched by early December 2021.

Joint Workshop between EUBFE and Ethiopian Customs Commission Delivered

Posted in Events

download
A joint workshop organized in collaboration with the Ethiopian Customs Commission was held on April 15, 2021 The basis of this workshop is the list of specific issues that were submitted by the EU Business Forum to the commission, following a mini survey disseminated amongst members. Some 40 logistics managers and staff members from EUBFE member companies took part. From the Customs Commission’s side, a number of directors including Mrs. Abeba Kiros- Director, Strategic Partnership Directorate, Ato Endashaw Temesgen -Director, Import goods procedure and support directorate as well as Mrs. Gennet Abreham - Director, Manufacturer and Export Trade Procedure and Support took the podium to lead the Q&A session.

The objectives of the workshop were
• to present the key systems that are instituted that would enable swift release of goods, within the 10/15 days deadline
• to discuss on the issues and challenges submitted by member companies, including but not limited to o repetitive inspections, rejection of transaction values, LC extension related challenges, duty free imports privilege rejection, lack of clarity on investment on logistics sector, missing HS codes on single window and consolidation of goods

Based on the queries raised by participants, the panelists as well as the other invited guests from ECC provided detailed explanation upon the return of participants from health break. The explanations were made by the panelists as well as Ato Habtamu Tilahun from Legal Directorate, Mr. Behailu Bedasso (lead valuation expert) from Valuation Directorate, Ato Sebsbie Fekade from ESW (team coordinator), Mr. Zewdu Tsehay from transit and warehouse directorate (lead expert) and Ato G/Egziabher G/Tsadik (deputy manager) from Kality Customs branch.

A summary of the responses is as below.

  • Price valuation is tolerated if it falls between 5-10% of ECVS. Regardless, the ECVS is being updated to reflect current prices and add new commodities; it is now at a pilot stage
  • Companies need to supply complete documents to enable ECC assessors make informed decision. In this regard, for ECC to be convinced of transaction value, sales contract needs to be submitted on top of LC and commercial invoices.
  • Price valuation remains a contentious area.
  • The first 4-6 digits of HS code are usually the same globally and the remaining will differ according to country context. Transiters should have the ability to navigate this.
  • The Ethiopian Single Window system (ESW) is currently serving the business community. Some 16 companies, mainly banks and insurance companies operate within this framework. Training is being provided to the business community on ESW on a continuous bases and based on needs experts will be happy to extend one to EUBFE members.
  • In situations where system failure happens in partner organizations, like Ministry of Agriculture, the ESW secretariat will be happy to intervene to support business in clearing their commodities on time.
  • The 10/15 days deadline kicks in on the day T-1 is validated. This means the day the shipment arrives in its designated warehouse, be it in Modjo, airport or even ECC certified duty-free warehouses.
  • Pre arrival clearance is indeed actively applied although some transiters do not seem to use this opportunity. However, it is one area that is targeted for improvement since it lacks harmonization across branches and does not meet international standard.
  • ECC is committed to developing the capacity of its staff. It also takes note that some of the challenges are rooted in absence of the right skills. ECC is open to partner with stakeholders including the private sector to this end.
  • The issue of expanding the privileges being an AEO to other government agencies has been tabled for consideration at the prime minister’s office. In this manner, law abiding companies will have significant benefits.

Joint Workshop between EUBFE and Ministry of Revenues Held

Posted in Events

A joint workshop organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Revenues was held on January 29, 2021 at the BestWesten Plus Hotel in Addis Ababa. The workshop focused on Auditing, tax compliance and related issues. It attracted more than 40 finance managers, drawn from member European companies. 

This workshop falls within the memorandum of understanding signed between EUBFE and the ministry to bolster relationship between member companies and the ministry. A small survey was conducted at the end of 2020, that brought some problematic areas in the tax administration that gave rise to the design and the delivery of this workshop.

Hence, the major objectives of the workshop were

  • enable participants grasp the basics of risk-based audit
  • to equip participants on basic assumptions taken into consideration on frequency of audit
  • exchange experiences on audit work between European companies and auditors of MoR and identify areas that require better collaboration

The Ministry of Revenues was represented by five directors;

  1. Ato Kebede Lidetu- Director, Risk and Compliance
  2. Ato Birhanu Kebede-Director, Tax Audit Management
  3. Ato Sisay Gezu-Director Tax Fraud Investigation
  4. Wro. Abaynesh Abate- Directress, Tax Debt Management
  5. Ato Dereje Meonnen- Director Filing and Return Processing

All the directors made a brief presentation on the major tasks of their respective directorates and the challenges encountered in expediting their responsibilities. 

The discussion that ensued addressed concerns raised by participants in the areas of VAT fund delay, frequency of audit, withholding tax, capacity of auditors and related tax administration concerns.

Follow this link to download the full content of the workshop: https://eubfe.eu/images/Minutes-_Workshop_on_Audit_and_Tax_Compliance_29.01.21.pdf 

EUBFE Addressed Participants during Investment Engagement Summit Organized by EIC

Posted in Events

20201211 161046The EU Business Forum took part in an investor engagement summit organized by the Ethiopian Investment Commission on December 11, 2020. The summit aimed at presenting the major legal reforms undertaken during the year to improve the business climate while also conferring with investors on current challenges. The summit was opened by key note addresses from HE Lelise Neme Commissioner of Investment Commission and Mr. Erik Habers, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Ethiopia. The board chairman of EUBFE, Mr. Ben Depraetere, then addressed the audience on key accomplishments and engagement of EUBFE as well as areas of collaboration that need further strengthening.
The EIC presented key reforms in the investment climate, including the new investment law and regulation. This law created negative listing of investment areas, that clearly delineate areas of investment reserved for local and joint investment, allowing FDI to participate otherwise. Moreover, the law establishes an investment board, that for the first time allows the private sector two seats.
You may click on the following link below to find out detailed changes enacted via the new investment law.
Following presentation on major legal and economic reforms as well as on investor aftercare service a panel discussion ensued. Existing challenges European Companies face, including access to forex, tax and customs were discussed. The EIC pledged to continue to support European investors and to such effect has assigned a contact person that would look after European FDI. Moreover, it was indicated that more sustained investor-enagement will be pursued in the years to come. 

EUBFE Held Consultative E-Meeting with the new EIC Commissioner

Posted in Events

EIC

The new commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) held consultative meeting with the board of the EUBFE and the EU Delegation
Hosted by HE Ambassador Johan Borgstam, head of the EU delegation to Ethiopia, the meeting was the first since HE Ms. Lelise Neme took helms at the commission
Following round of introductions and congratulatory messages on the appointment of HE Lelise from HE Ambassador Borgstam and Mr. Depraetere-Chair of EUBFE, representatives of the EU delegation and the EUBFE made power point presentations on the previous and current engagements of their respective institutions with the EIC.

On the discussion that ensued, EUBFE members indicated that despite the robust relationship established with the EIC and the tangible results registered, in particular via the public-private-dialogue (PPD) platform, a number of concerns of European FDI community remain unresolved. In addition to a more recent concern that is investment security, work permit renewal, logistical bottlenecks, foreign exchange shortage and uneven application of regulations and laws were pointed out. In response, HE Lelise pointed out that multi-regional forum, led by regional presidents and investment commissioners, has been established to oversee any concerns that might arise by investors and EIC will be happy to invite EUBFE to attend an upcoming meeting. Moreover, Commissioner Lelise promised to dedicate personnel and time to look into the challenges raised by EUBFE. In conclusion, EUBFE invited HE to an introductory meeting with members of EUBFE.

EUBFE held its first thematic networking event of 2020 on the sidelines of its general assembly

Posted in Events

 

IMG-20200227-WA0000

 

EUBFE’s general assembly held on February 27, 2020 saw approval of external audit report of FY 2019 as well as review and approval of annual plan for 2020. Major strategic focus for the year 2020 include expansion of membership base, enhance engagement and advocacy work as well as add new services and ventures. The EU Delegation in Ethiopia has pledged some 300 thousand euros worth of technical assistance towards improving EUBFE and this was officially announced at the general assembly. This is believed to be an important contribution towards realizing the key strategic goals set by the board of management of EUBFE.

Following the general assembly, a thematic networking event that focused on the implementation of the new customs legislation took place. It was hosted in partnership with EUBFE’s member association, the Ethiopian Netherlands Business Association (ENLBA). A panel composed of distinguished guests that include Mr. Gaim Yibrah (Director of the Strategic Partnership Directorate- Customs Commission), Mrs. Elisabeth Getahun (President of freight Forwarders and Shipping Association) Mr. Getachew Zewdu (Representative of Clearing Agents), Mr. Hayo Hamster (President of ENLBA) as well as Mr. Ben Depraetere (Chair of EUBFE) led the discussion on the application of the new customs legislation 1160/19 and the challenges associated with it. Particular concern was the reduction of maximum allowable deadline of goods in customs warehouses to 15 days in dry ports and 10 at airport and the fine of 20% of customs value sanction who fail to remove their imports within these day limits. Mr. Gaim responded to questions and concerns on behalf of Customs Commission and took away some suggestions for further scrutiny.

 

EUBFE joined members of the diplomatic community in welcoming the new president of EU Commission on her maiden trip outside Europe

Posted in Events

IMG-20191207-WA0004
On her first trip outside Europe as head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen visited Addis Ababa, on Saturday December 7 2019. On a speech she made during a reception organized by the EU Delegation to Ethiopia and the AU, Ms. Von Der Leyen underlined the important strategic alliance with Africa her leadership will pursue. She also congratulated the Ethiopian leadership for the reform they are engaged in and in particular the Prime Minister for winning this year's nobel peace prize EUBFE was represented by its co-chair Mr Timklienebenne (pictured with Von der Leyen) and its executive director Mr. Nahom F. Abraham at the evening reception.

The Fourth Thematic Networking Event of EUBFE took place

Posted in Events

EUBFE - LogoThe end of the year and the fourth  thematic networking event of EUBF took place on December 10, 2019 at the Golden Tulip Hotel. The theme of the evening was EUBFE-2020. On behalf of the board members of EUBFE, the executive director Mr. Nahom F. Abraham presented the key strategic directions EUBFE would follow in the year 2020 along three focus areas; expanding membership base, expanding services to members and strengthening engagement with the public sector. Following the presentation, board members conferred one-on-one with members to garner more information and perspectives on strengthening EUBFE's services further. The information gathered at the event will be used to enrich the plans of activities of EUBFE for the year 2020.

EUBFE signed MoU with Ministry of Trade and Industry

Posted in Events

IMG 9504

A memorandum of understanding was signed between EUBFE, AmCham Ethiopia and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) on the occasion of thematic networking event held on October 24th 2019. The MoU was signed by Ato Tekay Gebre Yesus, State Minister of MoTI, Mr. Ben Depraetere-Chairman of EUBFE and Mrs. Serena Capelleti-President of AmCham Ethiopia.

The signing of the MoU marks the onset of a constructive and sustained dialogue between MoTI and member companies of the respective associations. In the opening remarks of both Ato Teka and Ben, it was highlighted that it is indeed high time the private sector and the public one to work closely together and feed off each other experiences and expertise. Following the signing ceremony, a presentation on the major mandates, various services and directorates of the MoTI was made by guests from the ministry. Question and answer session followed the presentation, where participants raised queries and concerns.

Joint Workshop Organized together with Ministry of Revenue Held

Posted in Events

EU Business Forum in Ethiopia (EUBFE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Revenue (MoR) organized a training workshop for finance staff of member companies on October 17-2019 at the premises of MoR. The goal of the workshop was to equip participants with knowledge and skills in identifying fraudulent receipts. It is common knowledge that fraudulent receipts are causing considerable damage in the economy with some EU companies falling victim to such fraud. The training workshop was led by Ato Sisay Gezu, the director of the Intelligence and Investigation Directorate at MoR. During the lively discussion that followed the presentation, participants shared their experiences in combating illegal practices of such kind in addition to providing recommendations that would assist MoR.

This workshop is the one of the outcomes of the regular steering committee meeting held quarterly between the EUBFE and the MoR, as stipulated in the MoU signed between the two organizations.

 

E-CMS Themed Networking Event of EUBFE Took Place

Posted in Events

Second thematic networking event of 2019 took place in the presence of HE Ambassador Johan Borgstam, head of EU Delegation on September 19th September at the headquarters of Total Ethiopia S.C.

Introduction to the electronic customs management system (E-CMS) was the theme of the event. The E-CMS is a new system that has been implemented for the Ethiopian Customs Commission for over a year, with funding from the European Union. Its goal is to improve and digitize the entire customs shipment mechanism and meet the dire need of fast and efficient movement of goods in Ethiopia.

HE Ambassador Johan Borgstam, in his opening remark, appreciated EUBFE for organizing such an event that would enable EU businesses to understand new developments that could improve their operations. Chairman of EUBFE also highlighted major achievements and challenges EUBFE face on the back of existing economic reforms. Subsequently, the country manager of the host of the evening Total-Ethiopia, Mr. Thibault Lesueur, extended his warm welcome to guests.

A presentation on the new customs management system was made by the representative of Webb Fontaine, the company that deployed the system. Details of the power point presentation are found on our downloads page.

face booklinkedin