Ethiopian export industry loses over US $1 billion

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Ethiopian export industry has, this year, shifted from the very positive trends of the past few years with a shocking underperformance as exports revenues are expected to fall short of set targets.

Official reports claim that the Ethiopian export industry, the main foreign exchange earner, will see its target set for this year, 2009, slashed by over a billion US dollars by the end of the budget year.

Export target for the current fiscal year has been set at 2.56 billion US dollars. Government sources have revealed that, nine months into the current fiscal year, only 40 per cent of the set target has been achieved.

Besides the disastrous effect of the global economic meltdown, which has slowed down demand for most Ethiopian export commodities, pit falls in the country’s coffee revenues has been blamed on hoarding by local exporters.

The Government, however, has also shouldered part of the blame, stating that it was not efficient enough in looking towards other markets for its exports when traditional markets began slashing their orders.

Meanwhile, in a bid to salvage the situation, the Ethiopian government has set an ambitious agenda to help raise GDP levels to double digits by virtue of a plan to double exports, Girma Biru Minister of Trade and Industry told parliament recently.

According to the minister, the GDP growth can be attained only through realistic goals, which is possible if the export sector’s target for this year is kept at par with last year’s revenues.

So far, only 1.02 billion US dollars has been received from exports. This represents 56 per cent of the nine month performance target. The nine month revenue should have reached at least 1.8 billion US dollars.

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