National Bank of Ethiopia issues new forex directive to banks

Nov 03, 2016

The directive allows importers access to forex without restrictions.

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has directed commercial banks to make foreign currencies available to importers without restrictions. The new development contained in a letter written to all commercial banks dated 20th October 2016, compels Ethiopian banks to accept and register all forex requests from importers. This implies that commercial banks are barred from restricting importers from accessing forex and the banks will incorporate in their internal forex guidelines. Some of the areas of importation given priority include fuel, fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, textiles, machinery and equipment, raw materials and accessories, among others. Imports contribute a large portion towards the revenue in Ethiopia. Country imports increased to $4,367.40 million in the first quarter of 2016 from $4,165.40 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. From an average of $2,669.21 million in
2006, imports reached an all-time high of $4382.60 million in 2014.