A recognition for the jobs well done

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Ethiopia awards Dahabshiil and exporters on role in country foreign trade

Ethiopia’s export trade is showing increment with the increase in the volume of exportable agricultural products thanks to the efforts made to build drought resilience. Coffee is the chief export item for Ethiopia. The number of investors interested to start investment in Ethiopia has grown particularly over the past few years. The government of Ethiopia has undertaken economic diplomacy to attract more foreign direct investment. Efforts made to facilitate things for investors, including the availing of land and infrastructural facilities were more or less successful. The government is working to increase foreign direct investment so as to ensure the sustainability development in the country. These all seem to have created a conducive environment for the export sector to grow.

CBE 1Recently The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, CBE, honored exporters and money transfer agents who promoted the bank’s portfolio in terms of earning huge foreign exchange. The award was aimed at recognizing them and strengthening the export sector. The Bank has been giving its services for the last 70 years uninterruptedly regardless of changes of government.

The exporters are those engaged in money transfer, coffee, leather, textile and mineral sectors. MIDROC Ethiopia, Western Union and Dehabshiil Money Transfer agents, which earned over 150 million USD, and Belayneh Kindie Exporter, which earned 75 million USD, received the highest award and a Certificate of Appreciation from the hand of Bereket Simon, Adviser to the Prime Minister with the rank of Minister and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the CBE.

During the award ceremony, Bereket emphasized that the government and its people have long been working hard to eradicate poverty and to make the country join middle income countries through the implementation of various strategies.

“The country’s continuous registration of fast economic growth has been going on for the last seven years. To increase the pace of such growth to even higher levels the government’s role in leading the people is significant,” the Minister said.

The country has fertile and cultivable land, and abundant trained and easily trainable labor force. The government was fully committed not only to boost the agricultural sector’s potential and its operational capacity by making it more relevant to the needs of international markets.

According to Bereket, due to the fall in the price of coffee in the global market in 2012/13 the country’s income was forced to decline. However, despite this the export trade of the 2013/14 year has shown a marked improvement. Compared with the previous year, coffee has shown an increase of 41.5 per cent, oil seeds 17.1 per cent, meat and meat products 12.6 per cent while fruits and vegetables have shown an increment of 8.7 per cent. This may well have been driven by the conducive environment the government created for the export of locally manufactured products. Development partners and exporters also focused on working jointly by sustaining export trade to help the country sell its products and get more benefits from the sector.

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia was successful in expanding export trade, introducing local products for foreign market, making local products get recognition, and in building its capacity to be competitive in the international markets.

According to CBE President, Bekalu Zeleke, as export trade is essential to develop foreign currency and to create employment, CBE has been working on how to support and encourage customers to work on export trade. “We believe that our government has taken measures to boost export trade, and recognize our investors’ efforts in their role to improve the growth of the national economy,” Bekalu said. “But it is undeniable that CBE is showing faster growth in the last few years. It has 9.4 million customers in its 909 branches across the country. The Bank’s total asset has reached over 250 billion Birr.

The Ethiopian Herald talked to three awarded companies about how they managed to become successful. MIDROC Ethiopia, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al-Amoudi, started operation in 1996. It is the leading private investment Group engaged in multifaceted investment undertakings that have proved to make significant contributions to the development of the country’s economy. It is also the leading foreign currency earner which brings over 150 million USD in the last fiscal year.

MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group to date has 41 companies operating in agriculture & agro-industry, construction, hotel & tourism, manufacturing, mining, oil & gas distribution, real estate development, transport (including air transport), trade & commerce, healthcare, and education & training.

MIDROC is engaged in agricultural and agro-industrial sectors with emphasis to further develop the sectors and enhance their efficiency and export earning capacities. It is also engaged in the exploration, development and marketing of mines. The investment Group is also making its own contributions to develop and expand the manufacturing and service industries that enhance the economic competitiveness of Ethiopia and add value to local based resources. MIDROC also undertakes infrastructure and social sector development projects in Ethiopia among which include health , education & training, and transport services.

Among the top money transfer companies, Dahabshiil Money Transfer Limited is one. Group TV ScreenDahabshiil works with 17 banks in Ethiopia and has more than 40 years of experience in the provision of valuable lifeline in the Horn of Africa and it remains committed to its original values of trust, reliability, integrity and customer-focus service.

As the Country Representative to Dahabshiil Money Transfer Limited, AL. Jama Guush noted Dahabshiil is considered the only African company working in Ethiopia, and employing 5,000 people across 126 countries. It plans to strengthen its position in the market and to further expand its network of agents throughout the world by building strong partnerships and adding new products and services to meet the growing expectations of its valued customers worldwide.

Over the years Dahabshiil Group has prided itself on its regular contribution towards community regeneration activities. They continued this long-standing tradition of helping the communities in the areas where they operate, supporting projects in the US, Europe and Africa. Dahabshiil has donated millions of US dollars to education and health projects, and supporting relief efforts, which has had a real impact on the communities of the Horn of Africa. Dahabshiil also provides money transfer services and other financial services, essential for delivering much needed aid, to international humanitarian organizations.

Dahabshiil made further progress 2013/14 year, expanding money transfer services (which helps Ethiopia to earn more foreign currency) into more remote regions to ensure offering fast, reliable and efficient services to even more people. They pledges to continue to consistently meet and surpass regulatory and anti-money laundering requirements within the countries that they operate.

Belayneh Kindie Import and Export, the leading exporter of oilseeds and other cereals to different countries in the world especially to China started his export business six years ago and has brought 60 million USD through CBE and 15 million USD through other banks. This success is a result of the hard and continuous efforts of its employees and managers in addition to the policy and strategy that are undertaken by the government.

Ethiopia had earned close to 1 billion USD from pulses, oilseeds and spices in the last fiscal year. Local investors boosting the sector and improving the value chain for the benefit of the economy. Belayneh Kindie Export company which is one of the local high foreign currency generators, has a mature experience in exporting different agro commodities specially sesame seeds to the various parts of the world. It exports whitish sesame seed Humera type and Welega type, in addition to black shinny type Niger seed. It also exports Pea beans, Chickpeas, Lentils and others. It has also two cleaning machines being used to clean export seeds.

The company not only exports goods but also imports palm oil from Malaysia, Steel bar from Turkey, Tire & Electric Cable from China, and Paper from Indonesia.

To Sum up, while the issue of accelerated economic growth is gaining much attention by many development economists, exports can play a significant role in the growth performance of Ethiopia’s economy. Particularly international trade is recognized as a significant tool to play a decisive role in the economic growth of many countries.

In addition, as studies indicate, although there is a direct contribution of exports to economic growth, indirectly exports can foster economic growth substantially by inducing pubic savings, attracting foreign capital and hence promoting investment.

 

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