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Coffee trading may see change

The government will form a group of private and public sector stakeholders to study ways to alleviate barriers to a productive export economy.

Over last week meetings were held at the Prime Minister’s Office divided by sectors, according to sources who attended these discussions.

The talks were led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and focused on alleviating challenges faced by the export sector, according to sources.

According to the report that Capital obtained from the Ministry of Trade, the export sector was expected to generate close to USD 2.5 billion in the first seven months of budget year as of July 8, 2016. However,the actual achievement has been about 57 percent or USD 1.4 billion. The performance is not only lower compared with the projection but it went down 6.4 percent compared with a similar period of last year.

The issue is seen as a serious challenge by the government but exports have recently struggled to perform as well as hoped.

Recently, Arkebe Oqubay (PhD), advisor to the Prime Minister, also met with exporters and stakeholders to evaluate the sector and find a solution. Two weeks ago Capital reported that some changes were expected after frequent meeting with exporters mainly in the coffee sector. Coffee is the major export earner since modern trade started in the country.

Recently Sani Redi, Director General of ECTDMA, told Capital that massive changes would take place within a short period of time and in the long term policies and regulations would be restructured.

According to sources at the meeting, the PM decided to form a study group and to include members from both private and public sectors to find solutions and after identifying problems.

The study group will focus on solutions for coffee, tea, spice, and flower, fruit and vegetable exports.

Sources at the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) said that the new structure will be applied to intermediary members and change a previous rule where a member cannot represent both buyers and sellers.