The latest report released by the Ministry of Industry (MoI) indicated that export performance of the manufacturing sector has fallen short of target.
According to latest data obtained by The Reporter, the export performance of products in six areas of manufacturing in the first five months of the fiscal year stands at USD 164.7 million which is only 52.7 percent of the planned target. The original target was to achieve USD 312.78 million.
However, the data shows that the five month performance registered a 22 percent growth from last year's performance in the same reported period.
Out of the USD 164.7 million secured in the past five months, leather and leather products generated some USD 55.3 million, textiles products brought USD 51.2 million while, meat and dairy products secured USD 30.1 million. Similarly, USD 25.2 million, USD 2.3 million and USD 0.5 million was collected from food, beverage and pharmaceutical products, chemical and construction inputs as well as metals and engineering products respectively.
The industry development of the country, mainly the manufacturing sector, is a highly prioritized development sector that has been listed in the country's development blueprint, the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). Three years ago, the government has set a target to transform the growth rate of the industry sector from 10.2 percent and uplift it to 21.4 percent at the end of the five-year-plan.
It was also planned to elevate the sector's share of the GDP, which at the beginning of the GTP stood at 13 percent to 18.7 percent at the end of the GTP. The sector is also expected to be a promising sector for the nation's foreign trade and creating job opportunities.
It was also designed with a belief that it will play a crucial role in bringing foreign exchange revenue and replace imported goods as well as utilize agricultural products as raw material. The specific sector of the manufacturing sectors which are listed in the first row include leather and leather products, textiles products, agro-processing, chemical and pharmaceuticals and metals and engineering products.
In the same document The Reporter obtained from MoI it was indicated that the construction of projects in Bole-Lemi Industry Zone iare progressing very well. Accordingly, in the first phase of the construction, three projects with 5,000 square meters each and 2 projects each with 10,000 square meters have been accomplished in the already given one year time frame.
Foreign companies engaged in shoe making and garment production have already signed lease agreements and are expected to commence planting their machines and recruiting workers to go operational.
So far, the Taiwanese shoemaker, George Shoe Corporation, has been importing and planting its machines besides recruiting workers.
So far, over 348 million birr has been allocated for these factories. These factories come from Far Eastern counties notably from India, Pakistan, Taiwan and South Korea.
The second phase of Bole-Lemi Industry Zone covers some 186 hectares of land which is under construction with an outlay of 1.76 billion Birr to build 15 factories and common service delivering institutes. So far 15 local contractors are participating on the construction projects.