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Despite Tigray conflict, investment flowing into Ethiopia: Top official

State finance minister rebuffs notion that ongoing unrest deterred investors, admits inflation is 'major challenge'

Addis Getachew   | 02.09.2021
Despite Tigray conflict, investment flowing into Ethiopia: Top official


In spite of the ongoing conflict in the country’s north, Ethiopia has performed strongly in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), a government minister said on Thursday.

Ethiopia got $3.9 billion in FDI this year, including $800 million from the sale of a telecom operations license to a consortium of international firms, State Minister for Finance Eyob Tekalign told a news briefing.

“The figure speaks for itself,” he said, rebuffing any notions that that the unrest in Tigray may have deterred international investors.

He acknowledged, however, that the country’s strong performance “does not mean that investor confidence has not been impacted by the conflict.”

Asked about Ethiopia’s foreign debt, Eyob said he would prefer not to share figures at this point as the Finance Ministry is still working on them.

Inflation a ‘major challenge’

Eyob also identified inflation as Ethiopia’s “major challenge” at the moment.

“We need to rein in inflation,” he said, adding that authorities are working on measures to achieve the target.

He said the government realizes that it “cannot have too strict of a fiscal and monetary policy when people are dying of the pandemic.”

“But now, because this is probably having an impact on inflationary pressure, a conscious policy decision is being taken to actually limit economic activity. This should have some cost, but there is a tradeoff,” he explained.

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