Private sector development is an emerging focus area in Norway’s bilateral engagement in Ethiopia. Our efforts in this area will focus on job creation through increased investments, strengthened trade conditions for export capacity, producing cleaner energy and promoting an enabling environment for private sector.
In the white paper “Working together: Private sector development in Norwegian development cooperation” (Melding St. 35 “Sammen om Jobben”) that was recently published, our government sets out how it will intensify its efforts to create an enabling environment for private sector investments in poor counties, and establish new schemes for public-private cooperation. Even more positively for our embassy, Ethiopia is identified as a focus country for these new schemes.
A strategic framework agreement was also signed between MFA- Norway and Norwegian Trade Confederation (NHO) in August 2016, where the objective is to contribute to job creation and development in developing countries, creating linkages between Foreign Service and the business community through strategic partnerships. The aim of such strategic partnership will be to solve local development challenges where both parties have a common interest in improving the situation and also to team up with leading Norwegian actors to support their job creation activities by supporting the core business of the company.
This is why the embassy has organised today's seminar – we are bringing together all relevant stakeholders– private sector, public institutions and regulatory bodies - for a brainstorming and dialogue session to inform on Norway’s strategy for private sector development and discuss how best to implement it in Ethiopia as a pilot country. The seminar is arranged in two broad sessions where we first inform on Norway’s strategy and ways of developing the partnership models and later discuss on the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Ethiopia. The discussions is expected to reflect the perspectives of the Norwegian businesses operating in and trading with Ethiopia, Norwegian NGOs as implementing partners, and the Norwegian government.