MoTI makes first trade policy

Anteneh Aklilu

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), is responding to disappointing results in both local and international commerce by drafting its first trade policy.
Exports and local trade revenue have both declined according to Wondimu Filate, Public Relations Head at the Ministry and further said that they are working to improve trade.
Half of the draft document has been finished, according to Wondimu. He says lack of clear strategy and policy was one reason development of the commercial sector has lagged behind.
“Agriculture and rural development have a policy and strategy as does urban development so the commercial sector should have a policy and strategy,” he explained.
The policy will evaluate everything from the scratch and indicate the end goal of the commercial sector, it will also show the actors and contributors in commerce.
“The policy will look at ways international trade can be expanded,” the public relations head added.
In the local market hording, smuggling, overstating price increases, and uncontrollable and lack of adequate supply in terms of goods and services have been major problems over the past several years. The Ministry has attempted to come up with solutions by imposing laws and controlling mechanisms to smash illegality and or supply products on its own but things have not improved.
For international trade; contraband, contract defaults, artificial rates and weak export earnings have been major challenges. Over the past nine months the country earned less than two thirds of its target, and will have trouble meeting its goals over a five year projected period.
Wondimu stated that in the first three quarters of the budget year the country only earned USD 1.9 billion birr, which is 61 percent of the target for exports. USD 1.9 billion is more than the target but a decline of 9 percent from a similar period last year. Trade results have been in flux since 2011.