Manufacturing sector export earnings below target


Revenues from exported manufacturing products during the first nine months of the current budget year have failed well below target, an Industry Ministry report said. The new Ministry of Industry, established in 2010 when the government sliced the former Trade and Industry Ministry in to two, had boldly targeted bringing in 334.3 million dollars in earnings during the nine months.
193.5 million dollars was collected from various exported materials of the manufacturing industry. The performance is only about 58 percent of the target, poorly reflecting on the sector that is expected to aid the industry outputs which are  being groomed to substitute the agriculture sector in few years time. 
From the earnings, leather and leather products take up about 45 percent, bringing in 86.9 million dollars. Textiles and garments followed with 63.4 million dollars while processed agriculture products have brought 37.4 million dollars.  Pharmaceutical and chemical exports make up the smallest share with 5.7 million dollars.
The Industry Minister Mekonnen Manyazewal on Thursday presented the performance report to the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
Mekonnen, the only nonpartisan member of the cabinet, told the House that shortages and soaring price of raw materials hindered plans to boost exports from the sector. He touted that despite failing below targets, the export earnings from the manufacture sector represented over 40 percent growth from same period last year which is about 56 million dollars more.
The minister said slow global market affected the sector’s output. He also blamed productivity limitation of manufacturers for the underperformance.
As part of the efforts to encourage investments across the country, Mekonnen said they were able to license 457 new investment projects worth 64.4 billion birr. The project’s lion share, 392 projects, came as a foreign direct investment totaling 61.3 billion birr capital.
The number of the newly arriving projects has significantly been slashed but purposely, the minister said. During last year’s same period, 707 more projects have been registered. However, this year the ministry is prioritizing feasible projects to support.
Through the newly employed supporting scheme 159 projects with 11.1 billion birr were able to start services and productions. They have offered job opportunities for more than 8,190 people, the minister added.