Ethiopian Economy Exhibiting Remarkable Performance Despite Inevitable Shocks: Finance Ministry

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Addis Ababa, September 2/2021(ENA)Despite several challenges, Ethiopian economy has been exhibiting a remarkable performance over the past years, Minister of Finance said.

State Finance Minister Eyob Tekalign briefed local and international media today on the current economic situation of the country.

According to him, despite the inevitable shocks that the economy has been facing lately, the economy remains resilient with a stable and promising path.

He noted that the nation’s economy has been experiencing multiple shocks from COVID-19 pandemic, global economic slowdown, the locust invasion and security challenge in the northern part of the country.

“Despite those challenges, over all the economy has stayed on course. We believe this is the result of a broad-based reform we have been implementing across the economy especially over the last two years following the launch of home grown economic reform which aimed at macroeconomic stabilization,” the state minister elaborated.

Appreciating the ongoing economic reform over the past two and half years at a macro level, Eyob mentioned that the increment of agricultural productivity and the steadily export revenue growth have played positive impact on the economy.

Speaking on the growth of agricultural productivity, the state minister indicated that the country has registered 5.5 percent growth based on data obtained over the past ten months and said “this has been much higher than the previous years.”

The State Minister said the irrigation farming activities carried out during the past months has increased by 220.6 percent.

The export trade of the country has also reached 3.6 billion USD during 2020/21 fiscal year registering 23 percent growth from last year.

“Export is consistently peaking despite decades of long stagnation. Some 3.6 billion USD export revenue…. I think it is a phenomenal achievement even the challenge we have this year. And absolute figure itself you know the export is adding 600 million USD in one year tells you how to balance the overall balance of payment and debit position of the country ,” he pointed out.   

Regarding the debt burden, Eyob said the country’s shift from commercial to  concessional loan with low-interest rate  has eased the external debt burden.

Ethiopia recorded a government debt equivalent to 57 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 but now the debt has been reduced to 50 percent, he said.   

However, according to the State Minister, the government is planning to execute a strategy in a bid to compensate the damages that the economy encountered due to the ongoing conflict in the northern part of the country.

The government is also working to lowering inflation and curb the foreign exchange shortages by increasing national productivity in all sectors, the state minister said.

Further measures that aim at stimulating the economy will be taken including improving the capacity of revenue collection, expanding capital market, and privatization, he stated.