As one of the main UNDIDO activity under PCP ETH, Ethiopia’s First International Agro-Industry Investment Forum, is successfully concluded. The forum was jointly organized by UNIDO and Ethiopian government from 5 to 7 October in Addis Ababa, with an attendance of over 1,200 participants, two days of panel discussions, a field visit, several side events, including an exhibition and business matchmaking activities over all three days, the Forum was a great success.
Some highlight of the key achievement of this event with an Impressive attendance
- Over 1,200 participants attended the Forum.
- Over 400 international participants attended, including around 200 representatives of the international private sector and 50 representatives from financial institutions.
- Over 200 participants took part in a field visit to the Eastern Industrial Zone on the third day of the Forum.
Business matchmaking held on the sidelines of the forum for all three days
- Nearly 160 formal business-to-business (B2B) meetingsbetween Ethiopian companies and foreign investors were facilitated by UNIDO over the course of the three days, complemented by many informal B2B meetings arranged by foreign investors and local entrepreneurs themselves.
- More than 80% of local and international private sector representatives reported that the B2B meetings were highly positive and that they intend to follow-up on business opportunities after the Forum.
- Over 20 business-to-government meetings facilitated.
- An investment opportunity directory comprising 58 Ethiopian companies was prepared by UNIDO for investment promotion purposes during and after the Forum.
Government of Ethiopia reasserts its commitment to inclusive and sustainable industrial development
- The Government of Ethiopia has pledged to institutionalize the international agro-industry investment forum and make it an annual event.
- The Government and UNIDO to continue advancing inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Ethiopia through the implementation of the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP).
- The Government of Ethiopia has requested UNIDO to support the development of regional/international trade and investment fairs in Addis Ababa.
Panel discussions and partner support for financing the PCP for Ethiopia
- Two days of vibrant panel discussions covering topics from Ethiopia’s investment climate to financing options, to specific opportunities in the agro-food processing, textiles and garments, and leather and leather products sectors.
- Tremendous support for the development of integrated agro-industrial parks (IAIPs) expressed by development partners and private sector representatives in the opening and panel discussions, as well as through numerous bilateral meetings conducted on the sidelines. TheEuropean Investment Bank (EIB) expressed interest in financing one IAIP and will continue dialogue with the Government of Ethiopia and UNIDO in this regard.
- The Government of Ethiopia has officially requested financial support from the EIB for the establishment of the Modjo Leather City (MLC). In response, the EIB has expressed its intention to move forward with the related financing package. The European Union (EU) also expressed their intention to co-finance the MLC through the provision of technical assistance resources.
- The African Development Bank has also confirmed that the PCP has now been integrated into their country programme and that it stands ready to support the Government in the development of IAIPs.
- The International Finance Corporation, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, confirmed that they will continue working with the local financial sector to help bridge the financing gap.
- Active reporting and promotion of the event, including coverage through social media channels such as Twitter.
- Extensive coverage of the Forum by national and international media.
- An article by DG LI Yong on the mobilization of the private sector for sustainable industrialization wasfeatured in the October/November issue of Great Insights, a publication of the European Centre for Development Policy Management, The Netherlands. This was complemented by an article by H.E. Dr. Mebrahtu Meles, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Industry, on the development of IAIPs – a key component of Ethiopia’s industrial agenda.
More information on the individual sessions and all the side events, including videos and photos, can be found on the forum’s webpage at: https://isid.unido.org/aife1.html