Country earns 1.21bln USD for first half of 2018/19
Revenue from exports have continued to decrease as the country failed to hit its target for the first two quarters of the current fiscal year.
Though the government planned to collect USD 1.96 billion for the period, it has only achieved about 62% of its target.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Fetlework G. Egziabher told Members of Parliament on Thursday that the country earned export revenue of 1.21 billion USD in the past six months.
The revenue falls short of 750 million USD from government’s target for the period, which was USD 1.96 billion.
The minister, who presented her report to the parliament, indicated that the instability witnessed in some parts of the country has also contributed to the decline of export income.
The other reasons the Minister mentioned is the failure of increasing productivity and reliance of raw agricultural commodities in addition to contraband border trade and lack of meaningful diversification of export items.
Lack of inputs for the manufacturing companies, which often can’t get hard currency on time is also mentioned as are reason for the failure of the emerging manufacturing sector to generate export earnings.
While Ethiopia’s export income has been declining, the country’s spending for imports has been growing, surpassing USD 17 billion last. As a result, of the growing trade deficit, Ethiopia has been facing an acute shortage of foreign currency to import medicines and fuel.
The major export earning commodities of Ethiopia include coffee, oil seeds such as sesame, flower, Khat, fruits, vegetables, minerals and some manufactured goods.
The major hard currency consuming products Ethiopia has been importing include fuel, different machines, medicines, steel, manufactured goods including foods as well as simple products such as, toothpicks, candies and cookies.
She also mentioned under-invoicing and absence of an export strategy as holding up the sector.
“The decrease of the revenue as well as its rate of decline have become very critical and needs careful consideration,” Fetlework added.