Ethiopia to Improve Trade Facilitation

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Today the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) and the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) have signed an Agreement worth US$ 7.3 million to establish an electronic Single Window (eSW) system for international trade.

The main objective of this project is to set up a Single Window System that will facilitate international trade by reducing export, import and transit procedures and reducing the time and costs of   clearance document preparation. The system will help to make the country’s businesses more competitive, attractive to investment opportunities and stimulate the country’s economic development.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ato Beker Shale, Director General of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority said:

“I am confident that, this project will definitely have a prominent impact on the overall trading activity of the country. The impact of the project will be substantial and far reaching along several aspects and measures. We believe that the system will readily be welcomed by the trading community and all stakeholders and be optimally utilized.”

The Director General also reaffirms the Government’s and ERCA’s for the project and appreciated and gave thanks for the support provided by ICF.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, William Asiko, ICF CEO, said:

“ICF is pleased to be in the forefront of helping Ethiopia improve its business environment. The support we are providing to improve trade facilitation will help to make the country competitive and more attractive to investors.”

This is the second time that ICF and ERCA are working together on such selected projects with the aim of improving Ethiopia’s investment climate. The first project was completed in 2012 and focused on modernizing the tax administration system and it created an online filing system for large tax payers and also established a call centre in ERCA’s headquarters.

Notes to the Editor:

The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) is a donor funded, private sector focused development institution whose purpose is to enhance the economic prospects of African society by working with businesses and governments to improve the investment climate in respective African countries. ICF works with African governments to create a conducive legal, regulatory and administrative environment for businesses, both big and small, to invest, grow and create jobs.

Apart from trade facilitation, ICF also provides support in the areas of property rights and contract enforcement, business registration and licensing, commercial justice, tax and customs, financial markets, infrastructure facilitation, labour markets, competition, and corruption and crime. ICF is supported by development partners and the private sector. Additional information on ICF is available at www.icfafrica.org

The Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) is an institution that was newly established in 2007 by merging three institutions that were operational in the area. The Authority now employs about 9,000 staff and is found in a wave of reforms and transformation. It has been a leading organization in Ethiopia in the introduction of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and Balanced Scorecard (BSC) systems. It is also one of the public organization in introducing and widely using IT systems and resources.

The assistance singed at this time to introduce eSW is believed to further modernize and enhance ERCA’s service delivery with significant and wider impacts on investment facilitation and the economy. The Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority already runs two major automated systems, i.e. Standard Integrated Government Tax Administration System (SIGTAS) for domestic tax administration, and Automated Systems for Customs Administration (ASYCUDA++) for Customs procedures facilitation.

Source:http://allafrica.com/stories/201312161835.html?aa_source=slideout


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