Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ethiopia says investment surges 35% to $10bn

Ethiopia attracted foreign and local investment worth $10-billion in 2007/8, a rise of 35% on the previous year, the government said on Friday.

Abi Woldemeskel, head of the state-run Investment Authority, said the sharp increase was thanks to an aggressive worldwide promotional campaign that boosted inflows to sectors including agriculture, flowers, textiles and tourism.

Abi told reporters China had invested particularly heavily, pumping some $800-million into construction, telecoms and agro-industry projects. He said Turkey was also a major player, spending $100-million on a textiles factory near Addis Ababa.

Meanwhile, government sources said a Saudi Arabian delegation that visited Ethiopia last week was also keen to invest in agriculture, particularly cereal production.

Government officials say Saudi Arabia already buys Ethiopian agricultural commodities worth about $1-billion a year. Ethiopia imports oil and other petroleum products from Saudi Arabia worth some $1,5-billion a year.