Gov’t Taking Measures to Curb COVID-19 Impacts on Manufacturers

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Addis Ababa, May 26/2020( ENA)  Industrial Parks Development Corporation of Ethiopia has introduced measures that minimize the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on manufacturers in industrial parks.

Over the years the country has been expanding industrial parks in order to accelerate its economic transformation and ensure job opportunities as well as foreign currency earnings.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) Director-General Lelise Neme said market slowdown of industrial products has been following the breakout of COVID-19.

Subsequent to the pandemic, the government has been taking measures aimed to support the manufacturers fill the market gap

According to her, allowing them to sell their products in the restricted domestic market for two months and transportation discount are among the measures taken.

“Transportation cost from Hawassa Industrial Park to Mojo is now only operation cost and Ethiopian Airlines has offered a six-month cargo discount for import-export. These incentives will help the manufacturers perform better,” Lelise elaborated.

Manufacturers in industrial parks that have not yet finished orders are still exporting goods, while textile and apparel producers have now shifted to producing masks. the general-director stated.

Lelise pointed out that “20 companies in Hawassa Industrial Park that have outstanding  orders are producing while those without orders have been producing personal protections. Similarly, production is still going on in Bole Lemi and other industrial parks.”

Meanwhile, foreign earnings of the industrial parks during the last 9 months have improved as compared to same period last year, the director-general said, attributing the increase to prevalence of peace and stability as well as enhanced capacity of workforces.

“The 9 month export performance is about 122 million USD, registering 32 percent increase from same period last year. We have also achieved 75 percent of our targets, and stability has played significant in this.”

Hawassa, Bole Lemi I, Mekelle, Kombolcha, Adama, Jimma, Debre Birhan, Dire Dawa and Bahir Dar industrial parks have created 70,000 jobs.