Food, drinks, pharma sectors should generate more foreign currency

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The Ministry of Industry was hoping to bring in USD 110.1 million from 48 major drug, beverage and food companies, however it only actually earned USD 68 million, 61.8 percent of the target, although it was 33 percent more than the year before. Twenty major companies exported food products bringing in a combined USD 59.7 million which is 79.6 percent of the target goals.
On the beverage sector, twenty-one major companies exported their products generating a revenue of USD 5.1 million while the target was USD 25 million, which is 20.7 percent of their target. The pharmaceutical sector is also another disappointment. The sector generated USD 3.1 million, 31.2 percent of the expected target which was USD 10.1 million.
Mebrhatu Melesse, state minister of Industry says things should improve with better infrastructure land management and testing laboratories to attract foreign investors. He added that change does not occur over night and that with wise investment more money will begin coming in.
“Some things, like global market prices, are not controllable. Other things like improving the power supply and lessening bureaucracy are controllable,” he said.
The state minister added that his ministry is taking a holistic approach to improving the export situation. Elias Genet exports oil seeds, one issue he points to is farmer’s need to get a fair price for their labor. He says that because food prices have gone up it is hard to attract investors. Mulat Abegaze exports sesame and he said that when companies fail more assessment should be done to improve the business climate. Previously Ethiopian Airlines discounted transportation for horticulture to improve that sector and some wonder if this could also be done for the food and beverage industry.