By Bewket Abebe
(Marcopolis)ADDIS ABABA – ‘Export is a matter of life and death for us!’—say the government officials in Ethiopia. Export is thought to be the major means to secure foreign currency and an emergency treatment for a country, which has been heavily suffering from the shortage of foreign currency. To this effect, the administration’s export led policy endeavors to increase Ethiopia’s export earnings.
The current administration offers attractive incentives for exporters because it aspires to increase the contribution of export to GDP to 22.5% by mid-2015 as planned in its Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP, 2010-2015) enacted four years ago.
The country is exporting more than 1,800 commodities to over 45 countries across the globe. Led by coffee—the country’s flagship export item that accounts for about 65% of the total export—, a number of agricultural products (e.g. oil seeds) and gold have also been in the forefront of export for years. “There is a lot of potential for exports; today we talk a lot about coffee,” comments Gerard Hounkponou, chief of UN Conference Centre (Conference Coordination Unit, Conference Services Section) in Addis Ababa. Read more on Marcopolis …