January 31, 2014
Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome has invited investment from China in the country’s textile industry.
Speaking in the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa, Mr. Teshome said China is helping Ethiopia transform its economy, especially through investment in the manufacturing sector, China Daily reported.
The President cited the example of Chinese shoemaker Huajian Group, which is planning to create 10,000 new employment opportunities for Ethiopians in five years. He said that about a decade ago, it was unimaginable for Ethiopian Government officials to think of having a single factory where 10,000 people work under one roof.
Mr. Teshome said Ethiopia, along with other African countries, can attract a significant portion of the 80 million manufacturing jobs that China is likely to shed over the next few years, owing to the rising labour costs.
The Chinese textile industry cannot remain globally competitive if the cost of production continues to rise, Mr. Teshome said and added that the Chinese companies can set up their factories in Ethiopia and sell their products to the US and the EU and also save on import duties that they would have to pay if they were produced in China.
He said once the Chinese textile and garment factories are fully integrated into the Ethiopian economy, the products manufactured would not be labeled as Chinese, but Ethiopian.
Through manufacturing success, Ethiopia can become a middle-income country, he added.
Over the last ten years, bilateral trade volume between China and Ethiopia has grown by more than 25-fold to US$ 1.8 billion.
Fibre2fashion News Desk