Ethiopia Plans to Make WTO Offer on Services by September
By William Davison
Bloomberg (Addis Ababa) — Ethiopia will submit an offer to the World Trade Organization on access to services such as banking and telecommunications before the next meeting of a decade-long accession process in September, a Trade Ministry official said.
Last year, Ethiopia submitted suggested tariffs on goods to the 159 member countries of the Geneva-based body for negotiation, Geremew Ayalew, head of the trade relation and negotiation directorate at the Trade Ministry, said in an interview in the capital, Addis Ababa. The Horn of Africa nation is now working on offers for 160 service industries, some of which are controlled by the state.
“That is the challenging part,” Geremew said by phone on July 11. “We have to decide which ones are open and which ones are not open.” Ethiopia’s gross domestic product has grown an average of 9.1 percent over the past 10 years, ranking it as Africa’s second-fastest growing economy, after Angola, and sixth globally, according to World Bank data. The country plans to complete accession to the WTO by mid-2015, as set out in a five-
year growth plan unveiled in 2010, Geremew said.
Government-owned enterprises monopolize telecommunications,power distribution and commercial aviation, while state banks dominate a financial industry that bars foreign companies. At the same, foreign and domestic private investment in manufacturing and agriculture is encouraged. Read More