Ethiopia: Widening Economic Playground, Rooting Out Hurdles

by Zelalem

Over the past decade, Ethiopia has made considerable socioeconomic progress and has moved upward with a more healthy, inclusive and robust growth.

Particularly, following government’s inward-looking foreign policy that centers economic diplomacy as an effective mechanism to get out of the vicious circle of poverty, the country has enabled to witness tangible progresses. It has enabled to establish diversified trade relationships, and made diverse bilateral and multilateral economic agreements, seize more economic and trade opportunities than ever.

Ethiopia has now recognized as one of the desirable investment destination and the world’s fastest-growing economies. Country’s trade link among different nations has also intensified significantly, and the amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow is increasing steadily. As economic analysts forsaw, Ethiopia’s trade and investment link would keep increasing in the coming years.

For this success, government’s longer-term economic policies and strategies have contributed a lot. However, these sources of growth are no longer enough.

Government’s economic diplomacy is not limited only grabbing anchor investors across the globe and generating foreign capital. But it has also enabled the country utilize its untapped natural resources efficiently, develop its human resources through creation of job for local people, knowledge and skills transfer, and expand its infrastructure.

Furthermore, the efforts made so far in creating jobs for the youth and women through micro and medium scale enterprises have enabled citizens to gain their income, improve their livelihood, develop the capacity to innovation and entrepreneurship thereby accumulate wealth which is a key accelerator to elevate growth.

Concurrently, many local investors have got exposure to compete and penetrate to the global market thereby expedite country’s vision of industrialization.

These socioeconomic achievements of the country though are gained by government’s economic diplomacy, as many agreed, compared to nation’s untapped natural resources, easily trainable human capitals, government’s conducive investment friendly policies and strategies and immense investment opportunities in various sectors such as agriculture, livestock, agro-processing, manufacturing, industry, construction and tourism, they are not enough and a lot remains to be done.

Indeed, as Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalgen reaffirmed at a discussion he held recently with head of missions and senior government officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to the performance of 2017 and directions for 2018, economic diplomacy will remain core of Ethiopian foreign policy. In this regard, a lot of assignments are ahead of us to sustain this robust economic growth, and realize nation’s aspiration of becoming lower-middle-income status in 2025. To this effect, the country still needs more considerable amount of investment and FDI inflow.

For this to happen, challenges that investors most frequently faced should be resolved. Concurrently, strengthening the existing one and further creating partnerships with foreign trade organizations is a point of paramount importance to grab more anchor investors

likewise, improving the areas such as power, infrastructure, and other things are critical to transforming economies.

Most importantly, while good governance at the national and local levels is crucial for positive outcomes, the governments should fully be committed and take the responsibilities seriously, as it is a foundation for the national development.

Hence, the government should give due emphasis for issues that can promote country’s socioeconomic growth thereby enabling it realize its development plans effectively.

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