Ethiopia to earn $271 million from textile exports

30 Aug 2017

During the current fiscal year, Ethiopia plans to earn $271 million from textile exports and create 30,000 jobs, in its effort to become the top textile manufacturing and exporting country in Africa through various industrial parks.

According to the State Minister of Industry, $89.3 million was earned and 17,000 jobs created during the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The government has a keen interest to support the textile sector in order to generate foreign exchange, create job opportunities for many Ethiopians and to increase the quality of textile products.

…industrial parks attracting foreign companies

Foreign companies are investing in Ethiopia’s new industrial parks as it bids to become Africa’s manufacturing powerhouse and a leading textile and apparel exporter.

Ethiopia aims to increase its current revenue from exporting textile and apparel materials from close to $150 million to more than $1 billion.

The flagship Hawassa Industrial Park has already started bringing in hard currency. According to an Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute recent report, close to $1.5 million a month is being earned from export of textile and garments products from Hawassa. One fourth of the targeted over $400 million foreign currency is expected to be earned during the current fiscal year from the Hawassa industrial park alone. Eight factories are presently exporting their products abroad, while 10 other companies set their plan to start export from September.

Mekelle Industrial Park is also attracting international companies. The park, which is currently recruiting companies to its compound, said seven foreign companies have already secured sheds to commence assembling textile and garment factories.

Kombolcha Industrial Park is following suit. Trybus group, a textile and apparel materials producing company based in the United States, is the latest firm to sign up. It produces brands like Q by Flynt and Steve Harvey, and signed a MoU with the Ethiopian Investment Commission to set up a manufacturing center in Kombolcha. As part of the MoU, Trybus will create employment for more than 1,500 Ethiopians during the first phase of operation. The company aims to hire more than 5,500 workers when its operations are in full swing.

PM Hailemariam, speaking in connection with his country’s ambition to attract world-class exporters, said that Ethiopia’s favourable business environment “has attracted huge Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), despite the global decline.”

As Ethiopia is becoming Africa’s manufacturing powerhouse and a leading textile and apparel exporter, the government expects the three industrial parks to lure a great number of competitive foreign companies.

More than $1 billion has been budgeted for the construction of industrial parks in the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) period, effective from 2015 to 2020.

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