By Tsegaye Tilahun
Textile sector is one of the priority areas of the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) which mainly aims to increase the export by one billion dollar strengthening the finishing works of Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I) and the sector also expected to increase more than 300,000 jobs by the end of GTP II.
Bantihun Gesesse, Communication Director with Textile industry says that textile industry is expanding and growing quickly in Ethiopia with the massive involvement of both foreign and local investors. The government applies various incentives to investors who opt to engage in the sector.
The incentives include market linkage, chemical supply, quality and value chain development, technology adaptation, expanding investment, research and study and industry enterprise linkage.
Now a days 117 local and 80 foreign investors are created in Ethiopia increasing the flow of Foreign Direct Investment to the country. The sector which has been operating in the country for many years can be said to be coming out of the cold and showing rapid revival.
The sector is creating more than 90,000 job opportunities for Ethiopian citizens. For example a single industry is creating more than 7,000 jobs while an industry park like Hawassa, more than10,000 job opportunities are created. The sector plans to create more than 300,000 permanent and contractual job opportunities by the end of GTP II, he indicated.
According to him Ethiopia is naturally suitable for investors with the presence of suitable climate, incentives, infrastructure, abundant and competitive labor force, good policy and access to value chain
“The small and middle industries are expanding into higher industries and higher industries are growing into industrial parks. The government has put in place various incentives for both local and foreign investors.” he further explained.
The support improves the performance of investors by enhancing their labor force and also modernizing the management system to increase the number of small industries that feed the large ones.
Government is also giving due support to the sector by adapting technologies from experienced countries, he added.
According to Bantihun the sector is working with three Indian companies to bridge gaps through skills development.
The sector generates 78 million Dollar in the first GTP II plan year and 89 million Dollar in this year which is a remarkable performance for the newly organized sector , said the director.
He further explained that cotton, strand and weaving products are main inputs of textile industry in Ethiopia and the remaining inputs are imported. However, there is a huge potential for cotton production which is the major input for textile industry.
The productivity of cotton is growing year by year. In 2015/16 total production of processed cotton is 43,000 metric tons which grew up to 55,000 tons a year later.
Cotton quality improvement activities are underway, according to Bantihun.
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