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Ethiopia moves towards economic openness, intends to permit foreign ownership of real estate

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has unveiled plans to introduce legislation aimed at permitting foreigners to own real estate within the country, marking a significant step towards economic openness and the attraction of foreign investment. Currently, regulations prohibit foreigners from owning both residential and commercial properties in Ethiopia, posing a barrier to efforts aimed at enticing international investors.

During a meeting with major taxpayers in the capital city of Addis Ababa, Abiy Ahmed announced the government’s intention to finalize a new draft law that would enable foreign ownership of real estate. While details regarding the timeline for presenting the draft law to Parliament were not disclosed, the Prime Minister affirmed the government’s commitment to implementing measures aimed at fostering economic growth and expanding investment opportunities.

“We will present a law that will allow foreigners to own real estate,” stated Abiy Ahmed, underscoring the importance of facilitating foreign investment in Ethiopia’s property market. Additionally, the government aims to introduce amendments to existing laws to liberalize the country’s retail trade sector, which is presently restricted to Ethiopian nationals.

The proposed legislative changes reflect Ethiopia’s broader strategy to enhance economic competitiveness and attract foreign capital. By easing restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate and expanding access to the retail trade sector, the government seeks to create a more conducive environment for investment and foster sustainable economic development.

As Ethiopia charts a course towards greater economic openness, the forthcoming legislative reforms hold the potential to stimulate growth, encourage entrepreneurship, and strengthen the country’s position as an attractive destination for foreign investors. With continued efforts to enact policy reforms and promote investment-friendly initiatives, Ethiopia aims to harness the full potential of its economy and propel its trajectory towards prosperity and sustainable development.


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