Egypt Seeks International Arbitration over Businesses in Tigray

Egypt Investors are seeking international arbitration in order to protect their investments in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Existing Egyptian investments in Tigray region are running into losses following protracted armed conflict which has not abated since November 2020.

Consultations between Egyptian investors and the Ethiopian government are about to be deadlocked after Ethiopia set conditions that Egypt must come to Ethiopia to resolve the disputes. Egypt declined the request citing a lack of guarantees 

Vice-Chairperson of the Egyptian Federation of Investors Associations (EFIA) and head of the Egyptian industrial zone in Ethiopia Alaa el-Saqty said the fate of investments worth over $10 million remains unknown and, they are now seeking compensation of $2million.

El-Saqty said the Egyptian investors in Ethiopia would recourse to international arbitration against the Egyptian government, to protect their investments in the conflicted northern Tigray region. A case will be filed in the event that no agreement is reached to protect their businesses. Among other concerns, setting a maximum limit for daily cash withdrawals from Ethiopian banks was highlighted.

“The

Ethiopia has not put any clear frame for negotiations, and there is no hope in any negotiations efforts amid the absence of a framework,” El-Saqty said.

El-Saqty received a request from the Ethiopian Ambassador in Cairo for negotiations to discuss the demands of the Egyptian investors. This came after Egyptian investors demanded compensations as their businesses were impacted by the Ethiopian army attacks and interruption of communication in the region.

He also added that there is a need for global media attention to follow up on the stalled Egyptian investments in Ethiopia. Although the Ethiopian economy has had a prevailing positive economic outlook over the years, what happened to the foreign investments in Ethiopia is considered a sour point in the economic history of Ethiopia. El-Saqty contends that having had deliberations in December with Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Cairo, and with the authorities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has the duty to protect the rights of business owners who have attracted visitirs into its country. “…and if this is not done, the state should not invite investors and factory owners must not invest in the country,” he concluded.

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