(Ecofin Agency) - Ethiopia’s Finance Minister is considering issuing an Expression of Interest for foreign companies wishing to import wheat, cooking oil and sugar into the country.
According to Foodbusinessafrica, applications should be reviewed and validated by a committee formed by the Ethiopian National Bank, the Investment Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Once selected, the companies will be licensed to wholesale food items on the local market. This approach should enable the government to diversify the sources of supply for its population subsidy program.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), cooking oil is the fastest-growing food product in Ethiopia. Imports of this product have increased significantly over the last three years with an annual growth rate of more than 10% on average.
In 2017, the country spent $530 million to import 522,000 tons of cooking oil (palm oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil), USDA says.