Ethiopia: Scholars Underscore Special Economic Zones' Multilayered Significance

ADDIS ABABA — Establishing a special economic zone would help Ethiopia achieve economic growth for improving GDP and import substitution, and addressing forex crunch, among others, Scholars commented.

Marketing Management Lecturer at Hawassa University, Professor Birhanu Boreji told The Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) that establishing special economic zones is crucial for Ethiopia to realize rapid and comprehensive economic development for having convenient infrastructures.

As to the Lecturer, the special economic zone would have free trade zone, industrial parks, science and technology zone, and dry port service, thereby such zones would attract foreign direct investment and create large towns and cities.

Mentioning foreign experiences, Birhanu stated that Ireland has been registering remarkable outcomes since 1959 whilst China, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are being carried out special economic zone activities. Similarly, the Philippines have been able to record comprehensive economic growth by making huge investments in the past over two centuries.

He also noted that the special economic zone would share close to 20% of the total gross domestic product (GDP). Besides, having a tax relief period until production starts, machinery importing with no duty tax, sharing experience and the likes are helpful for investors.

Seconding Birhanu, Wolaita Sodo University Lecturer and Researcher Department of Economics, Solomon Kebede (PhD) said that establishing a special economic zone is the best way to solve the problems arising from shortage of foreign currency.

As to Solomon, addressing foreign currency crunch, making work more efficient, creating jobs, substituting imports, maximizing revenue, and boosting production and productivity, and so forth.

It was to be recalled that Ethiopia recently inaugurated the construction of the second Special Economic Zone.

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