ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC) has licensed 1,294 Chinese investment projects during the Ethiopian Fiscal Year 2017/18 that ended July 7, an Ethiopian official said on Friday.
Speaking exclusively to Xinhua, Mekonen Hailu, Communications Director at EIC, said the Chinese investment projects make up about 24.8 percent of the total investment licenses the east African country gave in 2017/18.
Ethiopia licensed 5,217 Investment projects during the fiscal year 2017/18 worth 3.7 billion U.S. dollars in total.
"Chinese investment and capital comprise the largest investment inflow to Ethiopia, with Chinese investors engaged in various sectors ranging from agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors including hospitality and tourism fields." said Hailu.
Hailu further said the Ethiopian government has given due emphasis to the manufacturing sector, as the country is shifting to industry-led economy from the largely agricultural one, and the contribution of Chinese companies is immense.
Ethiopia has rolled out various incentives that include custom duty exemption, income tax holidays, and provision of land at competitive lease price to attract investors.
China is also Ethiopia's largest trading partner, registering a bilateral trade volume of 5.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Trade grew at an average rate of 22.2 percent annually for the last several years.