By  | 20 November 2013

The Ethiopian government has reported export earnings of US$29m for the country’s clothing and textile industry in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (2013-14). 

This exceeds by more than 50% the US$19m earned by the industry in Ethiopia during the same period in the previous financial year.

Ethiopia’s clothing and textile sector is undergoing rapid expansion fuelled by foreign investment.

“With major investment from Turkey, India, China and Europe, Ethiopia’s textile industry is growing very fast. This will continue over the coming year,” Bantihun Gessesse, communications director for the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (ETIDI), told just-style.

The ETIDI expects overseas investment from top international brands and retailers to continue boosting Ethiopia’s manufacturing capacity, which will help the government reach an ambitious US$500m export revenue target for the fiscal year (for all sectors).

During the past fiscal year 58 medium-sized textile and clothing companies joined Ethiopia’s export market, including major Turkish textile manufacturers Angel’s Cotton and Etur Textile Plc. There are currently 110 textile and clothing factories in Ethiopia.

“We plan to raise productivity of our textile factories by 80%,” said Bantihun.

European countries account for around 60% of Ethiopia’s textile and garment export sales, with the US taking most of the remainder.

Ethiopia’s textile and garment exports grew 28% year-on-year during the previous fiscal (2012-13) year to US$84.6m.