It is a matter of fact that Ethiopia is becoming an emerging destination for the textile industry. Expected to emerge as a global sourcing hub for textiles within the next decade, the country is today the second largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the industry globally, after Vietnam, attracting nearly US$3.2 billion to 2016. Under the Government of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan-II (GTP II 2014/15-2020) – a national five year plan to encourage large-scale foreign investment opportunities – the textile industry is aiming for exports to the value of US$1 billion per annum. To achieve this, it is expected to attract 150 new investments and create nearly 175,000 new jobs.
International brands and companies such as H&M or Vanity Fair have already joined the trend of investing in Ethiopia. But what can Ethiopia offer them ?
Regarding the textile value chain, it covers spinning, weaving, finishing and textile fabrics. These include :
- Apparel manufacturing is a very attractive option due to the duty free advantage to the United States, Europe and other major domestic markets.
- Textile manufacturing : there is a growing domestic and regional demand for a variety of products, including yarn, grey knitted and woven fabric, finished fabrics and ready-mades such as curtains and blankets.
- Apparel accessories : there is a growing demand for accessories such as labels, buttons, zippers, etc. Investing in the manufacture of these items locally has much potential as presently they are imported.
- Services : services like testing and buying houses, technical consultancy or export marketing can provide good return on investment.
As a conclusion, we can say that the textile sector in Ethiopia offers excellent opportunities to investors. It is now or never !