Free Trade Zone Vital for Integrating the Nation into Rapidly Changing World: PM Abiy

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Addis Ababa August 14/2022 /ENA/ Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Sunday that the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) which the nation is building is one of the ways to integrate into a rapidly changing world.

The Premier has today inaugurated the Dire Dawa Free Trade Zone, which is believed to improve Ethiopia’s entire economy by boosting the import and export trade of the country.

Following the inauguration of the FTZ, PM Abiy said “Increasing the economic and technological capacity of our country while traveling in the same old way is a cumbersome journey. We need to follow new and innovative pathways.”

Citing that the world is changing exponentially, he said trying to accept the new world with old thinking is considered as good as carrying our youth on our shoulders in the same way we carried them as children.

“The Free Trade Zone we are building is one of our ways to integrate into a rapidly changing world. I have no doubt that the zone will not only facilitate trade and investment but also enhance our technological capabilities,” he affirmed.

The Premier further stated that the Free Trade Zone one of the first initiatives that would help the nation to realize future prosperity, urging investors to support their country and themselves by participating in the activities of the free trade zone.

He also noted that FTZ will facilitate conducive opportunities to the ongoing encouraging performances in agricultural productivity in the country in creating market to the products.

Minister of Transport and Logistics, Dagmawit Moges for her part said Ethiopia has been implementing several strategies with a view to enhance the country’s import and export trade.

The Free Trade Zone will help the efforts being carried out to shorten supply chain and reduce cost of logistics and inflation in addition to its contribution to job creation, she added.  

The establishment of free trade zone is one of the initiatives set in the 10-year perspective development plan of Ethiopia.

Dire Dawa is selected to be the first free trade zone due to its proximity to ports, market potential and huge cargo gravity as well as suitability for multimodal transport and logistics operation.

Increasing import substitution and export revenue, job creation, and skill transfer are among the goals of the free trade zone.

The zone is expected to provide support for the manufacturing, importing, and exporting procedures. Companies would also not be subjected to bureaucratic bottlenecks.

In addition, the free trade zone would offer customs duties privileges and play a significant part in reducing the cost of logistics, it was leant.