Exports of textiles from Ethiopia was worth US$ 29 million during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2013-14 that began on 8 July 2013. The first quarter export earning was over 50 percent higher than the US$ 19 million made in the corresponding period of last year, but the exports are still likely to fall short of target set by the Government at US$ 500 million for the entire fiscal year, if the poor show continues.
However, the export target set by the government is higher than the capacity of the textile sector, stated Fassil Taddesse, president of the Ethiopian Textile and Garment Manufacturers' Association. Citing the problems faced by the Ethiopian textile industry, Taddesse said regular power interruptions, costly import of equipment, and shortage of inputs deter the development of the sector. At present, the textile sector is operating at 50 percent capacity, and in order to achieve the target, the production capacity would have to be raised, feel industry experts.
In 2012-13, textile exports fetched US$99 million, much below the target of US$357 million. The Ethiopian textile sector comprises of 110 companies, and the export target for each individual company for the current year is yet to be determined, according to the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (TIDI).
During the first quarter, 58 new medium textile factories went operational. In addition, large textile companies like Etur Textile Plc and Angels Addis are also likely to operate at higher capacities during the remaining part of the year. The Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) of the Ethiopian Government aims at earning textile export revenue of US$ 1 billion by 2014-15 and creating 40,000 new jobs in the process.
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