Getting Started

In accordance with the mission’s goal to spur broad-based economic growth and promote development, U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa provides four key areas of focus: U.S. trade facilitation, U.S. investment facilitation, promotion and advocacy for U.S. products and services, and reporting, coordination and support.

The Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) Section of the U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa is the leading international trade agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, in Ethiopia. The Commercial Service facilitates and protects U.S. business interests in Ethiopia and assists U.S. companies in the following areas:

  • Provides counseling and strategic insight to U.S. companies wishing to enter the Ethiopian market that have 51% U.S. content including products and services
  • Offers trade counseling, market intelligence business matchmaking and commercial diplomacy
  • Assist US companies to develop trade finance and insurance strategies
  • Provides sector-specific business climate guidance for market entry and importation/exportation activities
  • Facilitates networking and linkage opportunities for financial, operational and technological needs
  • Assist U.S. companies to develop their business advocacy strategies for Ethiopian Government relationships
  • Identifies local partners ,including agents, distributors and potential business partners by sector, and
  • Provide information on Ethiopian business requirements and restrictions

We develop and update a variety of publications including the Country Commercial Guide and Country Investment Climate Statement, among others that help businesses navigate the trade and investment process in Ethiopia.

The Gold Key Service matching program provides visiting American firms with pre-qualified and pre-screened meetings with potential overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives and strategic business partners. This program features:

  • Appointments with pre-screened and pre-qualified Ethiopian firms in key industry sectors
  • Timely and relevant market research including background and contact information on each potential partner, such as: the size of the company; number of years in business; product or service lines; and capability to provide after-sales service
  • Customized market briefing with Commercial Specialists and assistance in developing appropriate follow-up strategies
  • Assistance with travel accommodations, interpreter service, and clerical support
  • If unable to travel overseas, consider our Video Services, based on technical availability. You can receive all the benefits of our Gold Key Matching Services, but meet your potential business partners via videoconferencing instead of in person.

Our Partner Search Program, which is a part of the International Partner Search (IPS), will help you to find the most suitable licensees, distributors, agents and strategic partners in Ethiopia. You provide your marketing materials and background on your company and using our extensive contacts in the Ethiopian market and target sector, we will identify potential partners and provide you with a detailed description of up to five pre-qualified prospects.

You will:

  • Save valuable time and money by working only with pre-qualified international partners that best meet your needs; and
  • Obtain valuable information on the marketability and sales potential of your products and services.

We help U.S. companies evaluate potential business partners by providing a detailed report on those companies which have been personally visited by a U.S. Embassy Foreign Commercial Service representative in Ethiopia. Clients can request answers to detailed questions about Ethiopian companies on a variety of issues and we will provide you with insight as to the viability and reliability of the company or individual you have selected as well as the relative strength of that company’s industry sector and ability to meet your business objectives.

We work with U.S. companies and organizations to help organize trade and promotional opportunities in Ethiopia. We help Ethiopian distributors/importers looking to source quality U.S.-made products and services. We work with Ethiopian companies to help identify trade shows in the U.S. or other locations where we have a large contingent of U.S. companies. We regularly lead trade delegations to our International Buyer Trade Promotion shows in the US.

  • Overcome trade obstacles to successfully enter the Ethiopian market.
  • Benefit from coordinated U.S. government engagement with the Ethiopian government to protect U.S. business interests.
  • Access U.S. government trade advocacy for your Ethiopian government procurement bids.

The Foreign Commercial service serves as the lead international trade and investment agency facilitating U.S. business interest and advocacy. We actively worked together with other U.S. government agencies on trade and investment related issues, including Commerce Customs and Patent agencies, Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Trade and Development Agency, Department of State, United States Aid and Development Agency, Center for Disease Control, Export Import Bank, OPIC, MBA, and SBA. We also serve on inter-agency initiatives like the Doing Business in Africa and Power Africa working group initiatives.

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