Ethiopia Exploring New Export Destinations across Africa

Ethiopia is intensifying efforts to increase its export destinations across the continent as AfCFTA brings new opportunities to realize its ambitions, according to the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration.

State Minister of Trade and Regional Integration, Teshale Belihu told ENA that the country has intensified its efforts to promote the export trade and expand destinations as the nation’s trade balance has big gaps between import and export.

“Our import spending is much higher than our revenue from export. We are working on plenty of promotion activities under the ongoing reform to increase export destinations.”

Noting that bilateral talks and negotiations towards reaching most of the African countries are underway, he said the government is working with commitment to expand the export destinations of Ethiopia beyond the usual ones, both at the global and continental level.

Stressing that increasing production and productivity with quality is crucial for Ethiopia’s export trade; he said: “production and export trade are inseparable. If you don’t produce, you do not have the goods to export.”

Despite periods of disruption for export trade due to local and international challenges, the export trade is now reviving following the restoration of peace in the northern part of the country, which is key to increase production and productivity, he pointed out.

The Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration is undertaking promotions with priority to boost the export destinations, it was indicated.

For the state minister, AfCFTA is one of the opportunities for expanding Ethiopia’s trade destination across the continent. Ethiopia, as a host of the African Union (AU), strongly supports continental integration, including through AfCFTA.

All industries in Ethiopia will considerably benefit from the AfCFTA in terms of exports or imports from the rest of Africa.

Citing that Asia, Europe and America, have been Ethiopia’s main export destinations, Teshale said now AfCFTA brings huge opportunities to expand the country’s export in many fellow African countries.

By eliminating barriers to trade in Africa, the objective of the AfCFTA is to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy.

Proponents of the AfCFTA underline th enormous opportunities of the free trade area, among others, increasing economic growth, forex generation, growing flow of FDI and create jobs.

Based on the six month performance report of the concluding fiscal year of the ministry, agriculture remains the major contributor to the country’s foreign trade.

Coffee, in particular, is Ethiopia’s major export commodity. Ethiopia, which is known as the origin of arabica coffee, is recognized worldwide for its rich coffee quality, variety of flavors and aroma.

The strategic geographical location with proximity to Middle East, Europe and Asia, the recent Homegrown policy and strategy have provided opportunities for boosting the country’s FDI in agricultural, manufacture and mineral exports and stimulate Ethiopia’s economy.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency