As part of a manufacturing boom, Ethiopia, dubbed by some as "Africa's Bangladesh", is set to give its textile and garment sector a major boost, planning to increase its export capacity from 21.8 million birr (1.06 million US dollars) in 2009/10 to 100 million birr (4.89 million US dollars) by 2014/15.

According to the government's latest Growth and Transformation Plan, the country is looking for investors in the textile and garment sector, especially in the areas of spinning, weaving and finishing of textiles from raw material to finished product as well as knitted and crocheted fabrics, carpets and sportswear. Leather products is another priority sector for prospective investors, especially fashion items like handbags, shoes, jackets and leather garments.

As reported earlier, Chinese, Turkish, US, Indian and European garment manufacturers are already attracted by Ethiopia with its large domestic market, increasing number of skilled workers and large workforce, and have either made commitments or are currently scouting for them. As announced last week, Ethiopia is also the tenth country to support sustainable cotton farming through Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), an initiative by the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF).

 

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