Ethiopia, tanners at war with exaggerated protectionist practices: “Duties only favor foreign investments if used this way”

No stimulus for local enterprises and financial policies that favor foreign investors more than local ones. These are the accusations made by local tanners to the Ethiopian government, as reported by local newspaper The Reporter Ethiopia, in an article that reads how a lot of representatives from various companies in the sector have, since Friday, manifested their dissent of the new proposal made by the country’s Commerce and Industry Ministry, which would impact the export of finished leather. This new solution has allegedly been put forward via the placement of an export ban of tanned and/or semi-finished leather pieces, onto which a 150% tax has been present since 2012. According to what reported to the local daily newspaper by Berhanu Abate, president of Ethiopian Raw Hide and Skin Traders Association, the ban should be cancelled to allow free trade, while for Yared Alemayehu, ceo of Walia Tannery, Ethiopian companies are forced to compete with players that are much-better positioned at a global level, and moreover local businesses deal with the fact that “importing used machinery is only allowed for foreign enterprises and not local ones”. In order to understand who the Ethiopian operators are talking about, is enough to know within the local chain there were already many European investors (Pittards above all), and now relevant amounts are also being invested by China. One concession to local enterprise could be about the export of crust leather, concludes The Reporter Ethiopia.




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