Ethiopia has a large and fast growing domestic and regional market offering prospects for a wide range of consumer goods. It has a strong range of natural resources with an exceptional climate for agricultural activity. While the economy remains predominately agricultural, the current Growth and Transformation Plan will increase industrial development on a significant scale, with particular focus on energy and infrastructure. Specific areas for increased development include agriculture and agro-processing; leather and hides, horticulture and floriculture exports, building materials and tourism. Details of dozens of state owned enterprises have been drawn up for privatization, mainly in food and beverage industries, transport and communications, agricultural services, tourism and the pharmaceutical industry. Under the country's environmental laws, the Environmental Protection Agency investigates the environmental impact of new investments and is responsible for regular audits to ensure standards are maintained.
While all land is state owned, it is available on a leasehold basis for up to 99 years. Leases vary according to location, type of investment and the class of land, and according to the incentives available. Regional governments negotiate details with businesses and investors. Much of the potential of Ethiopia has yet to be exploited. Out of the 60% of land which has potential for agricultural development, only 15% has yet been developed to any degree. Equally, many of the mineral resources, which include gold, platinum, marble, tantalite, copper, potash, soda-ash, zinc, nickel, iron, and natural gas, have yet to be developed.
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