Ethiopia earns over $100 mln via AGOA

Addis Ababa, June 7, 2017 (FBC) –Ethiopia earned more than 100.19 million US dollars from exports to the United States via the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) during the past three years.

Despite the different opportunities offered under the trade act, the country has been unable to take advantage of the US market effectively, according to the Ministry of Trade.

Ethiopia exported textile, clothing as well as leather and leather products to the US to earn the stated sum, said Bogale Feleke, State Minister of Trade.

“The revenue has shown improvement in the past three years, however, the performance is not satisfactory,” he told FBC.

According to Bogale, lack of capacity of local manufactures, failure to meet the required standards for the market, failure to meet a delivery deadline and shortage of foreign currency are some of the challenges for the poor performance.

Other problems include insufficient promotional works of Ethiopian products and limitation in encouraging US companies to invest in Ethiopia, the state minister said.

The Ministry of Trade is hopeful that the industrial parks which are being built in various parts will help the country to penetrate into the US market and earn more revenue.

The Hawassa Industrial Park, inaugurated in July 2016, has already attracted 15 major manufacturing firms from China, Indonesia and the United States.

The park aims to generate export revenue of 1 billion US dollars per year.

The country is also building other industrial parks, namely the Dire Dawa, Mekelle, Adama and Kombolcha parks.

Once completed, the parks will allow Ethiopia to take advantage of AGOA opportunity in the remaining eight years, Bogale stated.

AGOA is a US Trade Act, enacted on 18 May 2000. It offers an opportunity for Sub-Saharan African countries to get access to the US market.

After completing its initial 15 year period of validity in 2015, it was extended by a further 10 years, to 2025.

Translated and posted by Amare Asrat