Ethiopia pitches excellent resource base to Indian investors

Ethiopia pitches excellent resource base to Indian investors

In an interaction with members of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) here last night, Mulugeta said by investing in Ethiopia, industrialists could avail an excellent resources and domestic raw material base, besides guaranteed safety and security and skilled workers.

He said the labour cost in Ethiopia was USD 0.25 per hour against USD 0.75 in India. Stating that 46 per cent of Ethiopia's GDP was contributed by the farm sector, he said 80 per cent of the foreign exchange was earned from this sector, which also employs 85 per cent of the population.

The country had 74.3 million hectares of land suitable for growing various crops, including cereals, pulses, oil seeds, coffee, spices, cotton and other grains. "Cotton being the major crop, farming and processing facilities are the other areas in which one could invest," he said.

Tannery and leather goods also offered scope, as Ethiopia had the largest number of domestic animals in Africa, Mulugeta said. It also had good prospects for mineral prospecting and development.

The Calub natural gas field in Ethiopia has 73 billion cubic metres of gas reserves, he added.

A foreign investor would be required to make a minimum commitment of USD 1 lakh in cash or kind. But if the investment was done with a domestic partner, then the minimum investment would be USD 60,000, the Ethiopian minister said.

To invest in areas like engineering, architecture and auditing, the required capital was 50,000 USD, he said. He also mentioned that land could be leased up to a period of 99 years.

He also called for investments in the edible oil extraction sector, saying industrialists could export the seeds to other countries. There was no export tax.