- by ZELALEM GIRMA
The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) honoured exporters and money transfer agents who promoted the bank’s portfolio in terms of earning huge foreign exchange here Thursday at Sheraton Addis. The award is aimed at recognizing them and strengthening the export sector. The Bank has been giving its services for the last 70 years uninterruptedly regardless of changes of government.
The exporters are those engaged in money transfer, coffee, leather, textile and mineral sectors. MIDROC Ethiopia, Western Union and Dehabshiil Money Transfer agents earned over 150 million USD while Belayneh Kindie, an exporter earned around 140 million USD receiving the highest awards and Certificates of Appreciation. CBE President Bekalu Zeleke said that the Bank was successful in expanding export trade, introducing local products for foreign market, making local products get recognition, and in building its capacity to be competitive in the international markets thanks to its investors’ continuous hard work. Bekalu also said that as export trade is essential to develop foreign currency and to create employment, CBE has been working on how to support and encourage customers to work on export trade. “We believe that our Bank has a problem on the export trade sector, even if our government has taken measures to boost export trade and recognize our investors efforts in their role to improve the growth of the national economy,” Bekalu said. “But it is undeniable that CBE is showing faster growth in the last few years. It has 9.4 million customers in its 909 branches in the country. The Bank’s total asset has reached over 250 billion Birr. Bereket Simon, Adviser to the Prime Minister with the Rank of
Minister and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the CBE, said that the government and its people have long been working hard to eradicate poverty and to make the country join the level of middle income countries through the implementation of various strategies.
The Minister said: “The country’s continuous registration of fast economic growth has been going on for the last seven years. To increase the pace of such growth to even higher levels the government’s role in leading the people is significant.” According to Bereket, due to the fall in the price of coffee in the global market in 2012/13 the country’s income was forced to decline. However, despite this the export trade of the 2013/14 year has shown a marked improvement. Compared with the previous year, coffee has shown an increase of 41.5 per cent, oil seeds 17.1 per cent, meat and meat products 12.6 per cent while fruits and vegetables have shown an increment of 8.7 per cent. Bereket said that government creates conducive environment for the export of manufactured products for local investors. Development partners and exporters should focus on working jointly by sustaining export trade to help the country sell its products and get more benefits from the sector. Country Representative to Dahabshiil Money Transfer Limited, AL.
(Ali) Jama Guush said on his part said that Dahabshiil was the only African company working in Ethiopia, employing 5,000 people across 126 countries. It works with 17 banks in Ethiopia. Dahabshiil has more than 40 years experience in the provision of valuable lifeline in the Horn of Africa and it remains committed to its original values of trust, reliability, integrity and customer-focus. Dahabshiil plans to strengthen its position in the market and to further expand its network of agents throughout the world by building strong partnerships and adding new products and services to meet the growing expectations of its valued customers worldwide. Belayneh Kindie Importer – Exporter, the leading exporters of oilseeds and other cereals to different countries in the world especially to China started six years ago and has brought 60 million USD through CBE and 15 million USD through other banks. This success is a result of the hard and continuous efforts of its employees and managers in addition to the policy and strategy that are undertaken by the government.
The Bank was said to have made US$5.5bn out of foreign exchange earnings in 2014.