Ethiopia is endowed with abundant agricultural resources and has diverse ecological zones. In 2009, the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) shifted its agricultural policy focus towards encouraging private investment (both domestic and foreign) in larger-scale commercial farms. The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) created a new Agricultural Investment Support Directorate that is currently negotiating long-term leases on over seven million acres of land for these commercial farms. The new Directorate's goal is to boost productivity, employment, technology transfer, and foreign exchange reserves by offering incentives to private investors.
GOE also seeks to attract investors through incentives for priority export sectors - textiles/garments, leather, horticulture/floriculture and agro-processing. Many Ethiopian goods are eligible for duty-free access to the U.S. market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Leading non-agricultural sectors for U.S. trade and investment include: renewable energy, information technology and communications (ICT), construction, tourism and aviation. The GOE has developed a list of approximately 200 eServices or electronic services needed to be developed in the next several years.
Nearly all tenders issued by the GOE's Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA) are open to foreign participation. Most of the 310 public enterprises sold since 1994 have been small enterprises in the trade and service sectors. There are several examples of big privatized enterprises such as four breweries which were acquired by foreign enterprises including Heineken (Holland) and Diageo (UK).