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In just two and a half months the Ministry of Industry (MoI) handed out 56 licenses to pharmaceutical, textiles, chemical, leather and agro-processing firms.
Between January and March a total capital of 805 million birr has poured into works expected to employ over 3,450 people permanently and an additional 3,850 temporarily.
In 2011 a total of 1,043 projects were licensed with an aggregate capital of 31.2 billion birr. Over the last decade, industrial investment licenses have skyrocketed to around 15 percent a year. The Ethiopian government hopes the numbers will continue grow even further as its much touted Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) forecasts a growth rate of 21.4 percent.
To accomplish such an ambitious target, it plans to encourage manufacturing which utilizes large numbers of human labor, creates vast market potential, or uses agricultural products that can be easily exported as well as the capability of taking advantage of new technology.
The Ethiopian government projects revenue of USD 4.7 billion in exports in the current Ethiopian fiscal year, almost double the amount of the revenue from last fiscal year’s USD 2.7 billion.
Out of the four sectors which MoI expects to contribute to the above export earnings, leather and leather products take the lion’s share with USD 206 million, followed by textile and apparel at USD 171.3 million and Agro-Processing at USD 82 million respectively.
Although The Ministry of Industry had not reached its estimated export target of USD 334.3 million during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, only collecting USD 193.5 million from manufactured products, the ministry hopes will improve if it is to substitute agriculture in the future. The performance was only about 58 percent of its desired target.
From the earnings, leather and leather products comprised up to about 45 percent; bringing in USD 86.9 million. Textiles and garments followed with USD 63.4 million, while processed agriculture products have brought USD 37.4 million. Pharmaceutical and chemical exports currently make up the smallest share with USD 5.7 million. The Ministry hopes for an additional USD 471.2 million this year from the respective sectors.