Synergies between Dubai and Ethiopia

Potential business opportunities, projects and tenders

The Government of Ethiopia has been paying particular attention to the development of the non-oil sectors of the economy. Prospective sectors (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Industrial Parks Development
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Services

A foreign investor can establish its business either as a sole proprietorship or business organization. In doing so, it has to comply with the following requirements:

Sectorial opening

A foreign investor can engage in any sector listed under the Investment Proclamation No. 769/2012 and Regulation No. 270/2012 (both as amended), except the few sectors reserved for domestic investors, Ethiopian nationals or the government in the same laws.

Capital requirement

  • The Investment Proclamation sets a minimum capital requirement on foreign investors as below:
  • USD 200,000 for a single investment project by a foreign investor
  • USD 150,000 if joint investment with a domestic investor
  • USD 100,000 if the investment is on architectural or engineering works or related technical consultancy services, technical testing and analysis or in publishing work, and is solely owned by a foreign investor, and USD 50,000 if joint investment with a domestic investor in the specific sectors
  • No capital requirement for reinvestment of profit or dividend

Visa requirements

  • Business or investment visa is required for all foreign visitors to Ethiopia, except for nationals of Kenya.
  • Visa applications can be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas
  • The Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs issues a residence permit to a foreign investor up on submission of an investment permit issued in his/ her name.
  • A foreign investor who is a shareholder of a company or branch company as well as expatriate personnel who have work permit are entitled to get residence permit.
  • Favorable visa terms for investors in industrial parks: Multiple entry visa valid for up to five years is given for foreign investors; up to three years long visa for industrial park service providers, managers, board members and senior experts employed by foreign investors.

Registration and licensing processes

  • To establish a new business (greenfield), start your application process at the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) which provides a streamlined one-stop service for licensing and other processes related to establishment of a foreign investment.
  • To buy an existing enterprise or shares (brownfield), start with seeking approval from the Ministry of Trade.

Market Intelligence

Doing Business 2018 Ethiopia – by A world Bank Group Flagship Report

AN INVESTMENT GUIDE TO ETHIOPIA – by Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIA)

GUIDE TO DOING BUSINESS AND INVESTING IN ETHIOPIA – by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) https://isid.unido.org/files/Ethiopia/Guide-to-doing-business-and-investing-in-Ethiopia-2016.pdf

Developing Ethiopia: First-mover Investment Opportunities – by Deloitte https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/za/Documents/strategy/ZA_DevelopingEthiopia_Africa_050216.pdf

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