Another area of significant development as well as considerable potential is the tourism sector which is currently undergoing a major programme of upgrading and expansion with improvements to regional airports and infrastructural links, and the building of numerous new hotels, particularly in Addis Ababa. Visa [link to section on visas] and custom regulations have been eased. The Ministry for Culture and Tourism works closely with the regional state tourist bureaux to bring together private tour operators (of which there are now over 60) and regulatory authorities.

Overall, all major economic sectors have been liberalized for investment and marketing. Investors can remit dividend and interest from invested capital as well as principal and interest payments on external loans, proceeds from sales, salaries and other payments. 100% foreign ownership of investment is allowed. The Investment Code [Link??] provides guarantees against expropriation and Ethiopia is a signatory of the Multi-lateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Convention on Settlement of Investment Disputes and other international agreements. A one-stop shop for investment has been developed through the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC). There are significant tax incentives, including exemptions on imports of capital goods and income tax holidays of up-to-eight years) as well as various incentives and benefits for exports including an Export Credit Guarantee scheme and a Franco Valuta Import facility. The tax environment has been described as ‘conducive'. There are double taxation treaties with a number of countries as well as bilateral treaties for protection and promotion of investments.

Ethiopia has the second largest population in sub-Saharan Africa with over 80 million people. It currently turns out over 10,000 university graduates a year, and the number is increasing fast. In total there are over 150 technical and vocational training schools at various levels. Average private sector wages remain highly competitive and expatriate employees are welcome though the EIC expects replacements to be trained within a designated period.  It is usefully located at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and although landlocked has easy access to the sea at Djibouti as well as being able to use Berbera in Somaliland and Port Sudan in the Sudan. A member of IGAD, the regional organization, Ethiopia also belongs to COMESA, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, which provides it with preferential tariff rates with 23 countries and well over 300 million people. Ethiopia is a member of the ACP and is negotiating with the World Trade Organization. It has duty and quota free access to the US through AGOA, and to the EU which allows duty free entry for all industrial manufactured products.

International air links are excellent with Addis Ababa as the headquarters of the African Union (AU) and of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) and a number of other international bodies, operating as the diplomatic capital of Africa. Ethiopian Airlines has an outstanding safety record and is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world with links to Asia, Europe, the Americas and elsewhere in Africa.  All regional state capitals and other major towns are linked by microwave with automatic tele services. Similar links join Ethiopia to Djibouti, Kenya and the Sudan. Satellite earth stations provide international communication links and there are optical fibre links with the Sudan and Djibouti.

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