Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Middle East and Africa Seward L. Jones visited Ethiopia from August 11-14, 2017. The visit provided an opportunity to explore the trade and investment opportunities, challenges, and strategies facing U.S. companies wishing to do business in Ethiopia. It was also an opportunity to engage with the new American Chamber of Commerce on their priority trade challenges and objectives as well as the chance to engage with the Ethiopian investment commission.
DAS Jones held meetings with private-sector business leaders in the hospitality, hotel, franchise, digital financing, telecom, aviation and cargo, security, construction, energy and healthcare sectors. These meetings included CEOs from Mastercard, GE, Legendary Mega Corps, Marriott, Honeywell, Ethiopian Airlines, and Ethio Telecom. DAS Jones highlighted the benefits of increased trade relations between Ethiopia and the United States, including job growth and improving the quality of products available to the Ethiopian people.
The presence of U.S. companies in Ethiopia is also improving social and economic standards for trade and investment projects in Ethiopia through technology transfer, training, improved labor standards, and social impact projects. In meetings with several ministers, including for Energy, Health, and Finance, DAS Jones also stressed the U.S. commitment to improving transparency in the procurement process, which is just one element of creating a better business and investment climate for all businesses in Ethiopia.