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MoU To Boost Ethiopia’s International Trade Standard

by Stella Kabura
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In a bid to facilitate Ethiopia’s international trade standard, ten government agencies and a trade association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the country to roll out the One Window Technology for International Trade, worth more than seven million USD.

The project is expected to enhance flexibility while enable it to cope with existing international trade standard while save the country 16 Billion Birr in two years, say reports.

According to Project Manager Nigsusie Seid, Ethiopia suffers from extreme costs hailing from outdated trade mechanisms, noting that importers pay 14,000 Birr while exporters incur a cost of 10,000 Birr for a consignment on average. That in turn made the nation pay 36 Billion Birr for non essential goods and services for a span of five years.

Ethiopia’s foreign trade has faced some issues of rigidity and redundancy of data to mention a few challenges, costing private investors in in terms of management and administration. That has led to the slow movement of goods and expensive price of goods in the domestic market.

On average, reports say that importers pay 14,000 Birr, while exporters pay 10,000 birr for a consignment, forcing Ethiopia to pay nearly 36 billion Birr for goods and services of no value from 2013 to 2017, noted the Project Manager. Moreover, the country is expected to incur a total of 25 million Birr in a five year span as a cost of papers used in relation to consignments.

Nevertheless, for the new project, eight companies expected to present technical proposal for the software, managed to pass the first stage of the procurement for centralized online realtime electronic system. For the project, the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority is the leading organization for the execution.

Some 59 per cent of the total project cost would be financed by the Investment Climate Facility for Africa, while the Ethiopian government would to contribute 33 per cent. World Bank would cover the rest of the eight percent.

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