In response to your news story headlined, “Factory Owners Skip Town, Investors Cry Foul” [Volume 17, Number 869, December 25, 2016, we hereby would like to use our right of reply against the news.
The shareholders of ELSE Addis Industrial Development Plc, Seyfettin Kocak and Imam Altinbas, have made total investments of nearly 40 million dollars within the borders of Ethiopia as foreign investors until the day when the original news about them was published.
In the news it was claimed that the two businessmen fled the country without making necessary payments to the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), tax authorities and suppliers.
On the contrary, the two investors heard about the news and the travel ban decision made for them when they were about to travel to Ethiopia for taking part in the Turkish Ethiopian Joint Economic Business Council that was held in Addis Abeba on December 28, 2016.
Contrary to the original news it is also not true that they left the country two weeks ago in a rush.
Quite the opposite, the investors made an official application to the Investment Commission on November 24, 2016, in order to “start negotiations for the settlement of the dispute in an amicable manner” in line with the investment act signed between the two countries.
Contrary to the claims made in the original news, management of ELSE Addis Investment Plc was seized on September 15, 2016, and the two investors have not had any right to manage the facilities after that date.
The main reason for the investment dispute was that the Omo Valley Farm Corp. PlC industrial agriculture project, which was not mentioned in the original news, although it is one of the most important investments in the agriculture industry of the country, could not be financed under the agreement that had been made with the
Bank. This important project was financed by ELSE Addis Industrial Plc.
Because of the loan amounts that were not advanced by the Bank in spite of the loan contract signed, ELSE Addis Industrial Plc has been unable to fulfil its obligations towards the Bank.
While it is not possible to finance the project with the use of the domestic credit sources because of the economic developments experienced by the country, state of emergency conditions eliminate international financing opportunities as well.
In addition, the current process points out the fact that the actual violence directed to foreign investors in the country in the recent period is now continuing in a new dimension.
However, we would like to inform the public that the investors will continue to trust the country and support their hope for an amicable solution in full determination.
On behalf of Seyfettin Kocak
Emre Tikansak (Att. )