Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has carried out a series of reforms since taking the helm in April. The key plank? To open Ethiopia’s economy up to private investment (as part of the government’s efforts for economic reform across various industries). Another key aim is to boost foreign trade and make national enterprises internationally competitive.
The spotlight is now on the logistics industry: a landmark decision of the Ethiopian Investment Board has lifted the restrictions that kept the logistics industry exclusively reserved to Ethiopian nationals.
The restrictions on foreign investment under Art. 3.1(b) of Ethiopia’s investment regulation concerned packaging, forwarding and shipping agency services (among others). According to a statement by the Ethiopian Investment Board that is widely cited in the media, the decision affects also the restrictions imposed on the provision of bonded warehouses, and consolidation and deconsolidation services. Foreigners may now hold stakes of up to 49% in joint ventures in the logistics industry.
The doors to the logistics industry are now open to foreign investment.