City chamber presents recommendations for draft proclamation

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association has presented its written recommendation to be considered on the draft proclamation for the formation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Trade and Industry issued the highly anticipated draft proclamation that would replace the controversial Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association Establishment no.341/2003.
On the recommendation with 11 pages, the city chamber has provided its opinion and input for about 30 articles of the draft proclamation that has 35 articles.
Meanwhile the draft proclamation was appreciated by stakeholders since its projected to alleviate challenges on the existed 18 years old proclamation; however they have also expressed their concern stating that the draft proclamation has not fully improved the 2003 law.
On its recommendation that reviewed starting from the preamble, the city chamber has provided massive insights that shall improve the under preparation proclamation.
It said that the proclamation should consider the establishment of independent associations with incorporation of democratic framework rather than radiate the formation of regional associations with the structure of national chamber.
It added that the draft opposes the federal structure and the bottom up grass root organizational structure.
It advised the establishment of chambers should be near for members and follow a two tires system.
The city chamber expressed its concern on the preamble of the draft proclamation and said the preamble indicated the economic policy of the country that is against the behavior of chambers that is supposed to be independent from any political ideologies.
“The preamble does not mention the role of chambers, which stand for the benefit of members,” It said.
The term stated at the preamble to expand the revenue of chambers has also been criticized by the document that was sent to the ministry. It said that the chambers main objective is providing service for the business community and gain resources on its service than working to expand its revenue like a profit oriented organ.
It recommended the proclamation to allow the formation of chambers at economic zones and industry parks that are the centre of massive economic activities.
It opposed points stated on the objective of the proclamation that said the creating of ethical and operates based on legal manner, credible, sound and enables to come up with optional policy recommendations.
It argued that the objective of chambers are working to expand commerce and industry in the country, disseminate information regarding trade and industry of the country and the world for its members, establish cooperation and share information with parallel foreign associations, represent members for their benefits at the government organs, and provide services on behalf of the government.
Regarding the establishment, the proposal ridiculed the draft proclamation that stated the formation of chambers will follow the government structure, “Which is unlike others experience and forget the role of businesses at urban areas, industry parks and economic zones that are the concentration area for economic activity,” it stated.
It also opposed the role of national chamber that formed by members but has higher role and power on members.
According to the proposal the membership is supposed to be free than the stated as mandatory on the draft proclamation. It said that it is against the constitutional right and international convention that the country adopts.
It also recommended the acknowledgement of the role of regional and city chambers to undertake massive operations like creating cooperation with international and local partners for the benefit of its members independently.
The draft proclamation gives the right for national chamber massive power to rule and guide regional chambers. According to the draft proclamation, regional chambers are set to go through under the guidance of the higher body to their activities – which were strongly opposed on the discussion held a week ago.
The city chamber has also recommended foreign investors to be allowed to be members at the board of directors since refusing them is illogical, while it advice the presidency and vice position to be protected for Ethiopians.
Further discussion is also expected to be held in the coming weeks. For instance it has been disclosed that on the draft proclamation regional chambers discussion would held on Monday, January 4, 2021.