Ethiopiaâ€™s three industrial parks, Hawassa, Mekelle and Kombolcha, located in southern and northern Ethiopia built as part of its efforts to become Africaâ€™s manufacturing hub have started to attract renowned export-oriented foreign companies to Africaâ€™s textile and apparel production setting.
The Chinese-built Hawassa park, some 275 km south of the capital Addis Ababa, considered as Ethiopian flagship industrial park has already started bringing in hard currency. Among the companies that have started their production on its premises is the Hong Kong-based TAL Apparel.
According to the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute, eight factories are presently exporting their products abroad, while 10 other companies have set their plan to start export as of September.
The Institutesâ€™ recent report show close to 1.5 million dollars is being earned in a month from export of textile and garments products from the Hawassa industrial park.
From the Hawassa industrial park alone, for the current fiscal year, It expects to generate one fourth of the targeted over 400 million U.S. dollars foreign currency.
Another Chinese-built industrial park, the Mekelle Industrial Park some 783 km north of Ethiopiaâ€™s capital, is also attracting a bulk of international companies.
The park is currently recruiting companies to its compound, has revealed that seven foreign companies have already secured shades to commence assembling textile and apparel producing factories.
Among the seven foreign textile and apparel companies granted their space inside the Mekelle Industrial Park are high-profile export-oriented companies from Bangladesh.
Kombolcha Industrial Park, which is also built by China Civil Engineering Corporation (CCECC), is also in the full swing attracting various foreign companies.
Trybus group, a textile and apparel materials producing company based in the United States, is the latest firm that showed an interest to assemble its factories on the premises of the recently inaugurated Kombolcha Industrial Park, some 252 km north of the capital.
Signing an agreement with the Ethiopian Investment commission earlier this week, the group has been granted 5,500 square meters of land to install its factory inside the Kombolcha industrial zone.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, speaking in connection with his countryâ€™s ambition to attract world-class exporters, said that Ethiopiaâ€™s favorable business environment is bringing a growing number of foreign investors claiming that the country â€œhas attracted huge Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), despite the global decline.â€
As Ethiopia is on the move to become Africaâ€™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 to its settings.
The country has budgeted more than 1 billion dollars for the construction of industrial parks in the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) period, due effective from 2015 to 2020.
The country has also plans to uplift its current close to 150 million U.S. dollars revenue from exporting textile and apparel materials to more than 1 billion dollars.
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