An Ethiopian aluminum company - B&C Aluminum PLC - is to start exporting aluminum products to Egypt.
This is said to have positive implications on the country's Metals and Engineering sector. Industry State Minister Dr. Alemu Sime said that the Company's endeavor does not only contribute in terms of bringing in foreign currency, but in terms of increasing their productivity and competitiveness as well.
He added that as the Metals and Engineering sector is prioritized to substitute import and save foreign currency, the local investors that are involved in the sector are expected to save foreign currency by substituting importation of similar products.
"As country's foreign currency demand is increasing hugely parallel to nation's socio-economic development, it would be beneficial if every sector can be involved in export."
Mentioning the country's industry policy priority in producing goods that are internationally competitive, the State Minister pointed out that exporting aluminum to foreign market allows the country to see where it stands in terms of the global market standard, demand and competitiveness.
"Also, it has implication with regards to the industry sector in terms of strengthening our capability and competitiveness by scaling up technology."
Furthermore, he touched upon the multidimensional support the government has been giving to the manufacturing sector in general, ranging from providing various tax incentives to sharing the cost in bringing in experts from abroad to the sector.
Company CEO Haimanot Abate relays his belief that the implication of company's exportation to Egypt cannot be underestimated given the fact that Egypt has huge extrusion industry.
The CEO also mentioned Company's role in filling the local market demand for aluminum and in saving foreign currency. As of now, we believe we have 30-40 percent of the local market share, producing 10 tons a day, he added.
According to him, the Company has been involved in various big construction gigs such as the 40-60 condominium housing scheme at 'Crown' and 'Senga Tera' sites.
Haimanot also talked about the interlinkage they have with various small and micro enterprises, and the government's support. "The industry sector is not a sector, where you clap only with one hand; it needs the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders. We should take the industry level of our country to new heights and to the level where other countries have reached by working hand in hand."
According to the Owner and Managing Director of the Company, Biruk Haile, the significance of the event far exceeds foreign currency and filling local market demand for aluminum.
For him, it is a showcase that the country is capable of doing anything up to the level and standard of other countries. It also shows the country's next generation entrepreneurs and industrialists' capability to take over the mantle when the country's economy transfer to an industry led one.
He further stated that it shows other Ethiopians that they can compete with other countries as long as they work hard, and he added; "we showed that it is possible by exporting aluminum products to a country that has huge extrusion industry by meeting their standard and breaking into their market."
It is learned that the Company operates with an investment capital of 40 to 60 million ETB, with an employees of 550 to 600 Ethiopians.