ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia plans to increase export earnings by a billion dollars to $2.5 billion in 2008/09 compared with the previous year, the trade ministry said on Tuesday.
“Ethiopia plans to raise 68 percent of the planned $2.5 billion export earnings from agricultural commodities such as coffee, oil seeds, spices, leather goods and flowers in 2008/09,” the ministry said in a statement.
Industrial exports are expected to be 32 percent of the total, with income from textile products set at $49 million from $14.6 million in 2007/08. Ethiopia’s financial year runs from July to June.
Income from leather products, is targeted at $146 million from $92 million previously. China’s Sino-Overseas Leather Products intends to build four factories to make finished leather goods.
Ethiopia’s import bill was $4.7 billion in 2007/08. In the year before that, the country earned $1.2 billion from exports but paid $3.9 billion for imports ranging from industrial machines to oil.
“Imbalance between domestic demand and supply as well as the global rise in oil and other commodity prices has made the trade deficit to balloon to an estimated $4.7 billion,” said Ken Ohashi, World Bank country director for Ethiopia, in a local paper.