Bangladeshi firms to invest in Ethiopian apparel sector

Bangladeshi investors are keen to invest in the apparel sector of Ethiopia as it has easily trainable workforce, great climate and facilities like electricity and good road networks, said Bangladeshi ambassador to Ethiopia. Textile and garment companies from the US, China, India and Sri Lanka are also eyeing the textile sector of the African nation.

Swedish government owned development financier Swedfund and the Bangladeshi conglomerate DBL Group are also establishing a textile factory in Mekelle, Ethiopia, which will provide job opportunities for 4,000 people. This facility is expected to start producing apparel by mid 2017, ambassador Monirul Islam told Ethiopian news agency.

Labour intensive textile and garment industry sector can empower women by offering them financial liberty, said Islam. He also said that as compared to the traditional jobs, which generate minimum income, women can benefit more if they get the opportunity to work in the apparel and textile sector.

Bangladesh’s textile sector employs about 4 million people, 90 per cent of which are women. He said that women can lead good lives by working in the apparel sector and Ethiopia can learn from Bangladesh about how to empower women.

The ambassador also said that Ethiopia can draw lessons from Bangladesh’s experience in the apparel sector as both countries were at the same level a few years ago and now Bangladesh has become the second biggest textile producer after China with exports touching $30 billion. He also assured Ethiopia that Bangladesh is willing to share its experience with the country.

an agreement has recently been signed by four parties, viz. the Enterprise Partners, a programme of UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), Trade and Industry Bureau of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS), Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (ETIDI), and the Tenants’ Association to source, recruit and train 30,000 people in the textile and garment industry for the newly launched Hawassa Industrial Park in Ethiopia.

Around 15 textile and garment companies from the US, China, India, Sri Lanka and six local companies are setting up their operations in the park. Once fully operational, the industries within the park will create a total of 60,000 jobs in double shift.

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