Ethiopian Business Review

Korean Industries to Boost Textile Production

The Ethiopian textile is foreseeing foreign investment from Korean textile industries, according information from Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA). A delegation of 17, five textile industries and three institutes were in Addis Ababa from Korea to attend Ethiopia Textile Industry Investment Seminar, an event organized on October 2, 2013.

The objective of the event was to solicit investment opportunities for Korean business community in Ethiopian textile industry, according to Hagos Megersa, manager of Korea-Ethiopia Textile Cooperation Center (KETCC). “Some of them [Korean textile industries] have shown interest and commitment to invest while the rest are simply studying the potential,” said Hagos in an email response to EBR. Even though it is too early to tell on the specific investment interests of the industries, one of them, E-land, which is interested on cotton farming and then move to an integrated textile factory, is expected to start processing investment requirements in six months time, he said.

The Korean delegation met with Ethiopian officials including Fitsum Arega, director general of EIA, and Sisay Gemechu, state minister of industry. The delegation has also visited the Bole-Lemi Industrial Zone.

“The country has enormous potential for growth,” said Kim Nam Young, executive director for Korean Federation of Textile Industries (KOFOTI) underlying the fact that Korean textile industries are looking for investment destinations in Africa. 

The delegation has discussed with Ethiopian officials on their concerns of the country’s investment climate. The delegation raised matters such as reliable electric power supply which is necessary for their investment.

Ethiopia and Korean governments signed MoU for cooperation in textile in 2011 and established KETCC in 2012. Sponsored by the Korean government, the Center’s main task is to coordinate textile technology transfer and investment between Korea and Ethiopia. The office works closely with the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute and Ethiopian Textile and Garment Manufacturers’ Association. Whereas Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) supports its technology transfer wing; Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency helps in its endeavours to attract investment.

While Korea is the eighth largest textile exporter in the world, Ethiopia’s revenue from textile and garments was about USD99 million in 2012/13. Ethiopia has planned to generate USD one billion from textile export when the GTP ends by the mid of 2015. Textile is one the industries to which Ethiopia attaches priority in it’s Growth and Transformation Plan, which will end by 2015. By then the sector is planned to contribute USD2.5 billion to the GDP, according to a document from Ethiopian Textile Development Institute, its contribution in 2010 was USD480 million.

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