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Amb Hirut holds discussion with Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries

Addis Ababa, January (FBC) – Ethiopian Ambassador to Belgium, Hirut Zemene discussed about the Private Equity sector investment opportunities in Ethiopia with Laetitia Counye, Manager of Private Equity at Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO).

During the discussion, the Ambassador explained the wide opportunities that exist for private equity investment in Ethiopia, the incentive packages available, as well as market access to EBA, AGOA, AFCFTA and the quota-free accesses to China and India markets.

The availability of affordable semi-trained labour force and a huge local market with more than 110 million consumers also make Ethiopia more attractive to investment, she said.

Ambassador Hirut also underscored the importance of BIO’s interest in Small and Micro-Enterprises (SMEs), which would be key to mutually beneficial cooperation. Its engagement with local SME would help to transfer technology and employment, in addition to the capital flow.

She further stated that the Government of Ethiopia is encouraging private equity investors to come and combine their capital with the potential of local companies. She also pointed out that private equity investment in Small and Medium-sized enterprises in Ethiopia is now very timely.

Laetitia Counye, on her part, said that BIO is interested in investing in private equity investment in Ethiopia and wants to engage with local partners, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

She also mentioned that BIO has worked in Ethiopia through a fund manage known as Zoscales, on five investments in the country.

Laetitia Counye also stated that efforts to privatize, liberalize the economy and train and educate the workforce are promising. The sense of entrepreneurship in Ethiopia is also very interesting, she said.

“Since employment is a major issue in Ethiopia and SMEs are very large employers, we can help in this regard,” She further noted. She has also expressed further interest to venture on a second phase investment in Ethiopia.

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing countries (BIO) supports the expansion strong private sector in developing and emerging countries, to enable them meet Sustainable Development Goals.

It invests directly and indirectly in SMEs in developing countries and makes a practical contribution to the socio-economic growth of those host countries.

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