The International Trade Centre (ITC) organized under the Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa (PIGA) project, a dialogue on Ethiopia’s potential to become the next textile and apparel (T&A) supply base for the world. The discussion was organized in collaboration with the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT).
The event gathered more than 100 international buyers, potential Chinese investors, representatives of Chinese and foreign-owned companies in Ethiopia and representatives of Ethiopian institutions. It was followed by field visits to T&A factories in several industrial parks around Addis Ababa.
Despite challenges to overcome, such as reliable energy supply, customs procedures, lack of backward linkages and insufficient skills, all participants agreed that Ethiopia could become one of the next textile manufacturing hubs of the world with its wide and young labour pool, growing market potential, advantageous trade agreements, including the future African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and strategic position.
The government has also prioritized the development of this sector, set up the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (ETIDI) to strengthen the overall value chain, and created a conducive investment climate for the sector. These efforts have been acknowledged by all participants.