Ethiopia’s government receives services-sector reform plan
The International Trade Centre (ITC) has supported the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) in the development of a strategy to reform the country’s services sector. The strategy was recently presented to the government, ahead of the next round of negotiations on the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
ECCSA in July presented the Ethiopian government with the strategy position paper, which lists recommendations on how to develop the services sector. The paper is aimed at improving the competitiveness of the private sector and reconciling differences between different members of the business community, to complement the country’s efforts to join the WTO – a process that was launched in February 2003.
Expanding trade in services
Under ITC’s guidance, local experts analysed legal documents, conducted interviews and led discussion groups to formulate recommendations to expand further the trade in services, which already represents more than 40% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Representatives of the business community, including entrepreneurs and members of business associations and consumer groups, held consultations to discuss and accommodate inter-industry differences. These multi-stakeholder consultations enabled participants to better understand the impact of WTO accession on the competitiveness of their businesses.
ITC’s involvement in the drafting of the position paper is of particular importance to the private sector, as the country intensifies its efforts to join the WTO. In tandem with WTO accession and improved regulatory measures, the expansion of the services sector has the potential to multiply the country’s export competitiveness.