Ethiopia, the textile hub

Ethiopia is gaining ground in the textile industry thanks to new investments in textile machinery. Copyright: Bahir Dar Textile Share Company

Ethiopia is gaining ground in the textile industry thanks to new investments in textile machinery. Copyright: Bahir Dar Textile Share Company

As the world’s biggest land-locked country, Ethiopia has three climatic zones and a population of over 90 million people. Against the background of increasing wage costs in China, and Southeast Asia, an export-oriented textile and garment manufacturing industry has arisen over the last ten years. There are many advantages to textile production in Ethiopia with competitive wage costs, the relatively short distances to the markets of Asia and Europe and low energy costs having a direct impact on the industry’s expansion.

Skander Negasi, CEO of Trade and Fairs Consulting GmbH and responsible for trade-fair participations from East and Central Africa, considers Ethiopia to be one of the most interesting textile manufacturing countries in all of Africa: “Ethiopia has developed into one of the most important production locations after Kenya and we believe that it will overtake Kenya in terms of textile production in the next four to five years. In distinction to Asia, Ethiopia has strict labour laws. The working time of 8 to 10 hours is strictly adhered to and wages amount to between US $ 50 to 80.” In contrast, the average monthly wage in China is between $ 150 and 300.

Mulugeta G/her of Almeda Textile, one of the new exhibitors at Heimtextil 2016, adds, “Ethiopia will become a hub for textile procurement because we have the necessary raw materials and labour force. Additionally, the government actively supports international companies wanting to locate here, and this also contributes to the growth of the textile industry.” With its comparatively low wages, Ethiopia also aims to remain competitive in the long run.

Is this development also visible at Heimtextil? In our next blog post, we will have more news about Ethiopia and the home textiles sector.

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