BY SAMUEL NABWIISO
KAMPALA, UGANDA- A new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) indicates that East Africa is the fastest-growing region in Africa.
According to the UNCTAD investment report for the year 2017, the region received $7.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI ).
However although the region is seen as the fastest growing in Africa, it’s performance in 2017 declined by 3 per cent from 2016.
In the report ,Ethiopia performed better compared to other countries in the region.
It absorbed nearly half of this amount, with $3.6 billion (down 10 per cent), and is now the second largest recipient of FDI in Africa after Egypt, despite its smaller economy (the eighth largest in Africa” read part of the report).
The good performance for Ethiopia is due to the influx of FDI mainly from Asian countries that established Automobile Assembling Plants in Ethiopia following the lifting of a State of Emergency in the second half of 2017.
“Chinese and Turkish firms announced investments in light to manufacturing and automotive after Ethiopia lifted the State of Emergency in the second half of 2017.
“United States fashion supplier PVH (Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger); Dubai-based Velocity Apparelz Companies (Levi’s, Zara and Under Armour); and China’s Jiangsu Sunshine Group (Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss) all set up their own factories in Ethiopia in 2017. Several of these firms are located in Ethiopia’s flagship, Chinese-built, Hawassa Industrial Park,” the report notes.
In other comparison in the report , Kenya saw FDI increase to $672 million, up 71 per cent, due to buoyant domestic demand and inflows into ICT industries due to tax incentives which the Government offered to FDIs.
In Tanzania the strong gold price and a diversified productive structure contributed to FDI inflows worth $1.2 billion. Facebook and Uber (both United States) expanded into that country while India’s Bharti Airtel continued to invest.
On Uganda, the report didn’t give more Information on how the country performed as far as FDI inflow was in the reviewed year.
The Executive Secretary for UNCTAD Mukhisa Kituyi challenged developing countries to invest more in technologies that can support the social transformation of their economies.