Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ethiopia not ready for Kenyan banks – PM

(Nov 24, 2012, The Star)--Ethiopia is still not ready to open up its market for foreign banks, Prime Minister Ato Hailemariam Desalegn has said throwing into disarray plans by Kenyan lenders to venture into the country.

President Mwai Kibaki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn (Photo PPS)
The Ethiopian leader was ironically speaking at a breakfast hosted by Equity Bank at the Intercontinental hotel in Nairobi just after the bank chief executive James Mwangi sought the Ethiopian leader's support to venture into the country.

Desalegn was responding to local business community's inquiries on available opportunities in Ethiopia following the signing of an inter-governmental pact for Special Treatment Agreement for Kenyan traders going to Ethiopia.

But according to the Ethiopian PM, banking is not part of the agreement signed between him and President Kibaki on Tuesday. "Liberalising the banking sector would make credit expensive for business and slow down growth momentum, and that is why we have state our own Development Bank of Ethiopia to create a balance," the PM said.

Ethiopia has sustained 11 per cent growth rates for a number of years now and hopes to keep it going through regional co-operation with regional countries. The PM landed in Kenya on his first foreign visit since he ascended to top leadership of Ethiopia to succeeded Meles Zenawi who died a few months ago. Read more from The Star »

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