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  • Indonesian textile industry facing competition from Ethiopia


    A textile shop on Jalan Pintu Air in Central Jakarta. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)

    The government's effort to lure textile manufacturers away from China to the archipelago is facing a rising threat from East African country Ethiopia, which is offering companies a competitive cost structure.

    Under an agreement with the United States, namely the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Ethiopian exports are not limited by duties and quotas, said Indonesian Textile Association (API) chairman Ade Sudrajat in Jakarta on Wednesday.

    The country also has cheap labor and cheap electricity, as low as 4 US cents per kilowatt hour, he added.

    "China’s textile manufacturers are shifting their production overseas due to increased labor costs and air pollution. We want to attract them here. But some are already moving to Ethiopia," Ade said during a discussion on the textile industry.

    According to data from the Ethiopian Investment Commission, 124 foreign investors have expressed an interest in the Ethiopian textile sector, 71 of which are from China.

    Meanwhile, according to data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), investment realization in the Indonesian textile industry in 2016 decreased by 7.3 percent to Rp 7.55 trillion compared to 8.14 trillion in 2015.

    Foreign investors only contributed 42.5 percent in 2016, the lowest in six years.

     "Some of our members have actually already invested in Ethiopia," Ade said.

    Source: thejakartapost

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  • Diaspora Raises Over U.S.$2 Million GERD Support

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Ethiopian Diaspora Community in different parts of the world raised 2,101,000 USD to back the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

    In a press briefing Friday, Ministry Spokesperson Tewolde Mulgeta said the contribution was made during the last six months in the form of bond purchases, donation and other funding mechanisms.

    Tewolde added that the ministry met 199 times over the last six months with the diaspora community through various forums. Following this, the Diaspora made active participation in the fund raising and other programs including ICT, health and educational support, according to the Spokesperson.

    For its part, the ministry has made supports to 8,400 people in providing legal protection, investment tips as well as settling salary cases, Tewolde noted.

    Reports indicate that Ethiopia has over three million diaspora in different parts of the globe, it was learnt.

    Source: the Ethiopian herald

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  • Ethiopia's tourism potential yet to be fully exploited


    In 2016, over 800,000 tourists visited Ethiopia, bringing over ETB 128 billion ($5.6 billion) to the country. This is a decrease of approximately 11% from over 900,000 visitors in 2015. This is according to a new report by Jumia Travel Ethiopia, which further states that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism hopes to increase the number of tourists to one million, and the revenue to well over ETB 675 billion ($29.8 billion) in 2017. On the other hand, a remarkable growth has been achieved in terms of investment in the sector, rising by 3.7% end of 2016.

    “The country is looking for a transformational growth that will take the sector to the next level, marketing Ethiopia locally and internationally to list the country among Africa’s top five destinations. We are also shifting gear to incorporating technology into the industry,” said Solomon Tadesse, CEO of Ethiopian Tourism Corporation.

    Challenges abound but the sector is resilient

    Among top challenges leading to the decline of tourist arrivals are recent safety and security concerns that have been a major setback to the country’s growing leisure and conference tourism industry. However, the sector remains resilient as the country continues working towards prioritising security to ensure the safety of visitors and citizens, as well as minimise the impact of security threats.

    Paul Midy, CEO of Jumia Travel remains optimistic saying, “Challenges abound but the future is inspiring. We look forward to bringing the intended growth and progress into reality.”

    The report focuses on interesting findings, indicating that although conference tourism is growing in Ethiopia, leisure spending contributes 84.4% to GDP while 15.6% is from business spending. In 2015, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was ETB 51.3 billion ($2.26 billion) - accounting for 4.1% of total GDP, and is forecast to rise to ETB 85 billion ($3.7 billion) by 2026.


    In terms of hotel booking, Addis Ababa has the highest demand at 39%, followed by Hawassa at 11.2%, Bishoftu at 8.1%, and Bahir Dar at 7.5%. The majority of international arrivals are from other African countries (31%), and Europe (30%). While domestic tourism continues to gain popularity among Ethiopians (31.3%), foreign visitor spending is still higher at 68.7%.

    According to Alexander Burtenshaw, the country manager of Jumia Travel Ethiopia, expansion of tourism activities has reduced Ethiopia's dependence on agriculture. “Until recently, little had been invested in mapping the country’s tourism, but the last decade has seen intensified interest from investors.”

    Preferences are high for the 2 and 3-star hotels, attracting 37% and 36% of total hotel bookings respectively. Notably, a large number of customers favor online payment (59%) as compared to pay-at-hotel (41%). The rising growth of online payments can be attributed to foreign travelers who book hotels with international credit cards.

    Find the full report here.

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  • From chefs to musicians, talented ‘re-pats’ come back to build a modern Ethiopia

    One of the longest economic booms anywhere in the world in recent years has transformed the lives of tens of millions, and opened commercial opportunities unimaginable a generation ago. Growth rates have averaged about 10% for a decade, and most agree poverty has declined steeply.


    A family enjoying an injera meal at a restaurant in Addis Ababa.

    His dream is to show the world the glories of Ethiopian cuisine, to preserve its rich traditions and to make even his poorest fellow citizens eat better. That Yohanis Gebreyesus Hailemariam’s ambition recalls the aims of a slightly better known chef is no coincidence.

    “I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver. Many years back, my mum and I used to watch his shows,” he says. The 30-year-old is one of thousands of talented young Ethiopians who have chosen to return to their homeland after being educated or growing up overseas.

    One of the longest economic booms anywhere in the world in recent years has transformed the lives of tens of millions, and opened commercial opportunities unimaginable a generation ago. Growth rates have averaged about 10% for a decade, and most agree poverty has declined steeply.

    A vast dam – one of several enormous hydroelectric power projects guaranteeing cheap electricity – and a new railway from the capital Addis Ababa to Djibouti, the Red Sea port 750km away, opened in December. The national airline – once shunned – now flies new aircraft daily to destinations across south and east Asia, turning Ethiopia into an intercontinental hub. In the new commodities exchange in Addis Ababa, prices for coffee flash across an electronic display on one wall. On a sofa in reception, Haile Tiruneh, a 19-year-old from Washington, sits waiting for a 9am meeting with a CEO. “I don’t want to stay [in the US]. I see all my relatives struggling with loans. I want to be back here … there are so many opportunities,” Tiruneh, who is currently studying finance at Seoul University, says. Other “re-patriates” as they are known here include designers, restaurateurs, musicians and property developers.

    Read more here

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  • Ethiopian shoe designer hopes for repeat success with coffee


    Bethlehem Alemu's shoes have been sold worldwide by Amazon (AMZN, Tech30), Urban Outfitters (URBN) and Whole Foods (WFM). When she started her business the Ethiopian accountant had much more modest ambitions.

    "I wanted to do something that would give me job opportunities myself and the people around me," Alemu said. "I immediately thought 'I have to start a small business!'"

    Alemu felt she had to do something about unemployment and poverty in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

    So she quit her day job in 2005 and founded SoleRebels, which turns scraps of rubber from old tires and other recycled material into stylish footwear.

     The company, which sold 125,000 pairs of shoes in 2016, has already delivered its promise of work. Since opening, SoleRebels has created 1,200 jobs and plans to have more than 3,000 full-time Ethiopian employees by the end of 2018 when a new production facility is complete.

    The jobs pay well too -- three times the average wage, according to Alemu.

    "I was born here in Ethiopia and I grew up here so I saw the state of people -- the way they lived and the way they worked, and I felt if I had a company (it) should pay a certain amount of money so the employees can take care of themselves and their families," she said.

    Read more on CNN

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