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In the Modern world, no nation can hope to expand its commercial and economic life unless there exists a firm legal basis which will assure the necessary elements of stability and security in business transactions while at the same time providing a sufficiently articulated yet flexible framework within which trade and commerce may flourish and grow. Today, in Ethiopia, the development of commerce has out grown the provisions of the laws relating to business organizations and bankruptcy which were promulgated during the first years of Our Reign and which were adapted to the commerce and industry of those early days. The Commercial life of Ethiopia has expanded, increasing numbers of Ethiopian and foreign companies have been formed and registered, and more complex methods of transacting business have been developed in recent years.

Recognizing the impetus which a modern Code regulating the constitution and activities of all business organisations could give to the further growth of trade and commerce, We directed the Codification Commission created by US to prepare a modern Commercial Code which would serve for the present day as well as provide a solid foundation for the further refinement of laws treating of these subjects. We have directed that in the expansion and consolidation of Our commercial laws, great attention should be given to the control of all trading, and in particular to the control of the carriage of passengers and goods, an aspect of commercial activity which has increased greatly in the last decade. Similarly, in view of the further expansion of both foreign and internal commerce, it has been necessary to elaborate laws governing negotiable instruments and banking transactions.

The Commercial Code which is today being promulgated fulfils these requirements. It is grounded in Ethiopia’s ancient laws and customs and has been further extended by reference to the laws of other great commercial powers. We are confident that this Code will fulfil the aspirations of Our Beloved People and will assist in the swift and orderly development of Ethiopia’s economic life. Our parliament has studied with care and patience the detailed provisions of this Code and what has been approved by it is well suited to the needs of Our Own Country and to those persons and enterprises from other lands who are participating and sharing in the benefits of the commercial life of our Empire. We are ever mindful that in the all-important task of the codification of Our laws We have been guided by Almighty God, and that the fruits of this work will underline the principle of international justice without which no nation can survive or prosper.

Given in the 30th year of Our Reign, this 5th day of May, 1960

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