Ethiopia’s Minister of Industry Ahmed Abtew reiterated Ethiopia’s desire to sustain its economic growth through increasing focus on the manufacturing sector.
The Minister’s remark came at the opening of the First International Agro-Industry Investment Forum in Addis Ababa today under the motto “Unleashing Ethiopia’s Investment Potential”.
The second phase of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-2) puts emphasis on manufacturing and industrialization so as to lay foundation for structural change in the economy, Ahmed remarked.
Four Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks that trigger the development of agro-processing are currently under development, and are expected to be launched next September.
According to the Minister, feasibility studies have already been completed for the 30 billion birr projects to be implemented in Ahmara, Tigray, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s regional states.
The parks will be linked with millions of smallholder farmers to supply inputs, he revealed, further mentioning plans to install basic infrastructure in and around the industrial parks.
Research centers and agricultural extension services are also considered alongside the parks which are seen as magnets for FDI in fields of agro-industry.
UNIDO Director General, Dr. Li Yong on his part praised what he called Ethiopia’s bold and dynamic vision to become middle income country by 2025.
GTP-2 creates an enabling environment for FDI, particularly in food, textile and garment sectors.
Dr. Li Yong also positively noted Ethiopia’s endeavors to accelerate its industrialization process and regular improvements in the country’s policy framework to attract FDI.
With FDI flows to the country amounting to over 2 billion US dollars in 2015, Ethiopia is becoming a hot place for investors especially in leather, textile and garment sectors, the director added.