As a result of low costs of goods and services as well as rising consumer demand, many diverse types of international businesses have entered the Ethiopian market or set up production facilities there.

(African Business Magazine)―Ethiopia has overtaken Kenya as Eastern Africa’s regional economic giant in recent years, but its politics remains fragile and strained by ethnic tensions. Investors, however, are bullish about the country’s prospects over the next decade and seem willing to bet that its economic take-off will not long be delayed for much longer.

Ethiopia has attracted significant levels of Western and Chinese investors, with the secret of its success being government-led public spending on infrastructure and strong local demand for goods and services.

As a result of these low costs and rising consumer demand, many diverse types of international businesses have entered the Ethiopian market or set up production facilities there, including Unilever, Tesco and drinks giant Diageo. Testimonials from their senior staff feature prominently on the Ethiopian government websites, such as the Ethiopian Embassy in London.

Among others it quotes Diageo’s CEO Ivan Menezes: “Africa is hugely important for Diageo and Ethiopia is going to be one of the cornerstone markets for us… It’s got good demographics, very good economic growth and we’ve got good support from the government. I see a market the size of Ethiopia having significant opportunities for all players to grow.”

Seeking to look beyond pro-government sources, however, African Banker spoke with Tai Wondwosen, Head of Standard Bank’s representative office in Ethiopia, about the opportunities that had led Africa’s largest bank by assets to set up shop in Addis Ababa.

Continue reading this story at African Business Magazine
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