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Doing Business in Ethiopia

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa provides four key areas of focus: U.S. trade facilitation, U.S. investment facilitation, promotion and advocacy for U.S. products and services, and reporting, coordination and support.

The Economic/Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa is the operational arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Ethiopia. The Economic/Commercial Section is prepared to assist U.S. companies with:
• Networking and linkage opportunities for financial, operational and technological needs
• Business climate guidance for market entry and importation/exportation activities
• Developing your business advocacy strategies for Ethiopian Government relationships
• Matches with agents and potential business partners for your sector, and
• Information on Ethiopian business requirements and restrictions

Services offered by our Commercial Team
• Gold Key Service (arranging appointment schedule with relevant parties)
• International Company Profile (report on an individual company)
• International Partner Search (compiling information on potential strategic partners)

Gold Key
The Gold Key matching program provides visiting American firms with pre-qualified and pre-screened meetings with potential overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives and strategic business partners. This program features:
• Appointments with pre-screened and pre-qualified Ethiopian firms
• Background and contact information on each potential partner, such as: the size of the company; number of years in business; product or service lines; and capability to provide after-sales service
• Customized market briefing with Commercial Specialists
• Available market research on the relevant industry sector

International Company Profile
The International Company Profile (ICP) helps U.S. companies evaluate potential business partners by providing a detailed report on those companies which have been personally visited by a U.S. Embassy Commercial Section representative in Ethiopia. Clients can request answers to detailed questions about Ethiopian companies on a variety of issues and receive expert advice from our Commercial Specialists about the relative strength of the firm in its market and its reliability.

The International Partner Search
The International Partner Search (IPS) will help you to find the most suitable licensees, distributors, agents and strategic partners. You provide your marketing materials and background on your company and using our extensive contacts in the target market we will identify potential partners and provide you with a detailed description of up to five pre-qualified prospects. You will:
• Save valuable time and money by working only with pre-qualified international partners that best meet your needs.
• Obtain valuable information on the marketability and sales potential of your products and services.

We provide valuable insight into investment opportunities and sectors of interest. We can support individual investors with general information and broad overview of macroeconomic and investment trends. We regularly update the Country Investment Climate Statement, which we make available to prospective investors.

We work with U.S. companies and organizations to help organize trade and promotional opportunities in Ethiopia. We help Ethiopian distributors/importers looking to source quality U.S.-made products and services. We work with Ethiopian companies to help identify trade shows in the U.S. or other locations where we have a large contingent of U.S. companies.

We develop and update a variety of publications including the Country Commercial Guide and Country Investment Climate Statement, among others.

We provide coordination and support on a variety of topics including bilateral and multilateral policy issues to include macroeconomic development and trends, agriculture, banking, commerce, economic development, energy, finance, foreign direct investment, intellectual property, labor rights and relations, telecommunications, trade, transportation, as well as environment, science, technology, and health (ESTH).

The Economic and Commercial Section serves as a point of contact for international, governmental, non-governmental, private organizations regarding business, commerce, investment and trade issues. We actively cooperate with other U.S. Government agencies and organizations in the field, such as the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service. 

Local Links

Ethiopian Government Portal -
National Bank of Ethiopia –
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia -
Ministry of Foreign Affairs -
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development -
Ministry of Trade and Industry -
Ministry of Communication and Information Technology -
Ministry of Works and Urban Development -
Ethiopian Investment Agency –
Ethiopian Privatization Agency –
Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce –
Ethiopian Telecommunication Agency -
Maritime and Transit Service Enterprise -
Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority -


Contact Information

  • Contacts in Ethiopia

    Tanya L. Cole
    Senior Commercial Officer
    U.S. Commercial Service Ethiopia
    +251 11 130 6683-Office

  • Tewodros Tefera
    Commercial Specialist
    Foreign Commercial Service
    U.S. Embassy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Tel +251 11 1306839-Office

    Contacts in Washington

    Ludwika Alvarez
    International Trade Specialist
    Office of Africa
    U.S. Department of Commerce
    Tel  202-482-4228
    Fax  202-482-5198

    Jim Wilson
    Senior Coordinator for Trade Promotion
    Bureau of African Affairs, Office of Economic Policy Staff
    U.S. Department of State
    2201 C Street, NW
    Washington D.C. 20037
    Phone 202/647-4075

    Andrea Donnally
    Ethiopian Desk Officer
    Office of East African Affairs
    Bureau of African Affairs
    Washington D.C. 20520
    Tel: (202) 647-6473

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