International Cooperation and Development

Africa-Europe Alliance: Business Forum to enhance trade and investment between Europe and Ethiopia

News 13 May 2019 Brussels

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Attracting more European companies to Ethiopia is the objective of the EU-Ethiopia Business Forum 2019, which will take place in Brussels on May 14 and 15.  With the Forum, the European Commission shows its support for the Ethiopian economic reform agenda and its commitment to the Africa-Europe Alliance. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, will provide a keynote address to the Forum.

Led by Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Markos Tekle, a delegation of Ethiopian officials will travel to Brussels to share first-hand information about doing business and investing in Ethiopia with some 100 attending European companies and trade-enabling organizations.

Ethiopia is home to a population of roughly 100 million people, with an expected 9% GDP growth this year, according to the World Bank. According to a recent mapping, there are over 300 European companies active in the country, making the EU block the second-largest investor in Ethiopia after China. With the EU-Ethiopia Business Forum 2019, the European Commission would like to increase this number and enhance trade and investment between Europe and Ethiopia.

The full programme of the Forum can be found here: EU Ethiopia Business Forum 

Background information

The EU’s development portfolio supports Ethiopia’s national strategy, above all in food security and agriculture, health, infrastructure (including energy, roads and climate change) and governance.

In recent years, the EU has heightened the focus on areas related to job creation, industrial and agro-industrial parks, export and trade promotion and private sector development.

The EU’s cooperation portfolio in the country is one of the largest in Africa and in the world (€715 million for the 2014-2020 period). Ethiopia is also one of the main beneficiaries of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (€260 million since 2015).

Additional support for Ethiopia is channelled through other EU initiatives, in particular the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, the Global Climate Change Alliance and the Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.


About the Africa-Europe Alliance

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in September 2018 announced a new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, aimed at creating up to 10 million jobs in the next five years. The Alliance aims to strengthen Europe’s partnership with Africa, particularly by harnessing the power of the private sector to promote jobs and investment and thereby support sustainable development. This event is an important part of this approach, bringing together leaders from across the public and private sectors.

Press is welcome to cover the Forum. Kindly send an e-mail to: