Ban on Importing of Luxury Items Saves about 1 Biln USD per-Year: PM Abiy

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Addis Ababa November 15/2022/ENA/ The ban on importing of 39 different products which are considered as luxury items will save about 1 billion USD per year, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.

The Government of Ethiopia (GOE) has banned 39 different products which are considered as luxury items which include packaged food, household items, furniture, beauty products and automobiles, and different type of liquor imports in a circular order written by the Ministry of Finance to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) on October 14, 2022.

It is to be recalled that the government has reached to the decision to ban those items to utilize the limited hard currency available for import of important items like medicines, agricultural inputs, capital goods and raw materials for local industries.  

Accordingly, banning such items will benefit to prioritize other essential basic agricultural products as some of the stated luxury products are exposed for black-market.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said to the House of Peoples’ Representative today that as per to the national bank, Ethiopia spends 18 billion USD on 6,000 imported goods. Only 39 of these commodities have been prohibited.

Abiy said last year alone, the nation has spent 1 billion USD on imported products, the same amount it spent on fertilizer.

The decision was made to give domestic products a chance as the commodities are vulnerable to the black market and are not essential commodities.

“As a country, we gain more than we lose through the decision. The prohibition could be improved in the future.”

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