ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia is eyeing China as the main export destination for its burgeoning manufacturing sector, an Ethiopian official said on Thursday.
Speaking to Xinhua, Wondimu Filate, Head of Public Relations and Communication Affairs Office at the Ethiopia Ministry of Trade (MoT), said Ethiopia's exports are largely agricultural products and industrial inputs, but an increasing amount of semi-processed and fully processed industrial products are being exported to the Asian economic powerhouse.
Ethiopia exported to China 248 million U.S. dollars of goods during the previous Ethiopian Fiscal Year 2017/18, which ended July 7.
Ethiopian exports to China during the previous fiscal year included agricultural, industrial and mineral products such as coffee, oil seeds, sesame, leather and tantalum.
"China is already our largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as being our largest trading partner. Chinese expertise and finance is also involved in the construction of industrial parks across Ethiopia, so we can say the Ethiopia and China have multifaceted economic relationship," said Filate.
Ethiopia is tapping Chinese finance and expertise as it seeks to increase the number of operational industrial parks it has from the current five to around 30 by 2025.
"Chinese companies are not only constructing industrial parks in Ethiopia, they are also leading investors in the industrial parks, engaged in sectors such as textile and apparel, leather and hides and pharmaceuticals, helping fulfill Ethiopia's key strategy of creating an export led manufacturing dominated economy," Filate told Xinhua.
Filate also emphasized Chinese money and expertise is also helping Ethiopia's plans to create and operate large agro-industrial parks that will package, produce and export finished agricultural products.
"Ethiopia is increasingly exporting agro-industrial and industrial products to China, steadily replacing our primary products exports and helping us finding a reliable export market for our burgeoning manufacturing sector," said Filate.
"China's massive but still growing economy presents a lucrative destination to Ethiopian exporters. This will help Ethiopia's manufacturing sector find a large, reliable trade partner in Asia for the foreseeable future," he further said.