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A big business conference and exhibition has commenced today in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The conference and business exhibition on “Enhancing the Investment and Business Climate in Ethiopia” will bring together Ethiopian Government representatives, European Union Delegation and Member State officials as well as members of the business community in Ethiopia on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

Organized by the EU Business Forum-Ethiopia (EUBFE) in cooperation with the EU Delegation to Ethiopia and the ACP Business Climate Facility (BizClim), the conference will explore solutions to improve the business climate in Ethiopia.

A statement issued by EU Business Forum-Ethiopia said that EU being Ethiopia’s main trading partner, there are currently around 300 European companies active in Ethiopia, making it a key investor for this fast-growing African economy.

“There is a lot of foreign investment coming in, and Europe is still one of the bigger investors in Ethiopia. Things are changing, and Ethiopia is one of what they call the ‘tigers of Africa,” said Chris de Muynck, Chairman of the EUBFE.

A contributor to this investment is BizClim, which undertakes initiatives in ACP countries, including Ethiopia, to boost development and improve investment in this part of the world, in cooperation with national governments, local stakeholders and the European Union.

Results of a study that has been carried out on the top challenges facing EU investors in Ethiopia, including Taxation, Business Licensing, Customs and Foreign Exchange, will be announced at the conference.

As well as discussing the main impediments for business, according to the EU companies surveyed, the conference will highlight best practices in the fields of FDI promotion and challenges on licensing procedures as well as the changes that the Government of Ethiopia has made and plan to make in the future, in order to attract more FDI to Ethiopia.

Chargée d’Affaires of the European Union Delegation, Barbara Plinkert, and Chairman of the EUBFE, Chris de Muynck, are both  present to and will address conference participants.

A range of European companies investing and operating in Ethiopia are also present and participating in an Exhibition at the conference, to inform participants and showcase the benefits of investment in the region.

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