A worker goes about her work at Bole Lemi Industrial Park in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, April 6, 2017. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
ADDIS ABABA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese companies, with close to 379 projects that were either operational or under implementation during the past five years, are on top of Ethiopia's investment landscape both in number and financial capital, an official at the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has told Xinhua.
According to Mekonen Hailu, EIC Communications Director, 279 of the total 379 Chinese companies were set operational in Ethiopia with projects that worth over 13.16 billion Ethiopian birr (over 572 million U.S. dollars) from 2012 to 2017 period, while the remaining 100 are under implementation.
Ethiopia's manufacturing sector takes the first spot in attracting companies from China both in number and financial capital, with a total of 276 projects either under implementation or operational, he said.
Construction, services and agriculture are said to be the other sectors hosting a great number of Chinese companies to Africa's second most populous nation.
According to Hailu, the Ethiopian government has given due emphasis to the manufacturing sector, as the country is shifting to industry-led economy from the largely agricultural one, and the contribution of Chinese companies is immense.
He said that the east African country has rolled out various incentives that include custom duty exemption, income tax holidays, and provision of land at competitive lease price to attract investors.
According to the Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry, Chinese companies have invested around 4 billion U.S. dollars in Ethiopia during the last two decades, creating job opportunities for over 111,000 Ethiopians on permanent and temporary basis.
Meles Alem, Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, told Xinhua recently that Ethiopia has targeted to attract new and existing Chinese companies to invest in various sectors in the country, the manufacturing sector in particular.
The Asian country is Ethiopia's largest trading partner, registering a bilateral trade volume of 6.37 billion dollars in 2015. Trade grew at an average rate of 22.2 percent annually for the last several years.