Ethiopia - Trade Barriers Ethiopia - Trade Barriers
There are no special regulatory barriers to U.S. trade and investment in Ethiopia. In June 2018, the Government of Ethiopia announced its intention to open a number of sectors to foreign investment through the partial privatization of state-owned enterprises that have maintained monopolies, including the aerospace, logistics, and telecom sectors. In September 2018, the Ethiopian Investment Board approved changes to liberalize the logistics sector, including expanding authorizations to operate bonded warehouse services and permitting foreign investors to hold up to a 49% interest in joint ventures with Ethiopian logistics firms.
Some U.S. companies have complained about the lack of transparency in the government procurement system. Increased trade and investment are constrained by poor infrastructure, bureaucratic procedures, a foreign exchange shortage and high transportation and transaction costs.
Importers face difficulty in obtaining foreign exchange, particularly those that import goods for domestic sale. The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) administers a strict foreign currency regulatory regime and must approve all foreign currency transactions. While larger firms, state-owned enterprises, and manufacturing industries have not faced major problems in obtaining foreign exchange, the remaining firms face burdensome delays in arranging trade-related payments. An importer must apply for an import permit and obtain a letter of credit for the total value of the imports before an order can be placed.
In June 2018, the Ethiopian Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change approved the cultivation of biotechnology (BT) cotton. This followed the 2015 revision of the bio safety law that reduced some of the trade barriers on agricultural commodities.
Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.