Addis Ababa (Xinhua)―Ethiopia on Tuesday inaugurated its largest industrial park so far as it races to meet its development target and create enough job opportunities for the young population.
The 1.3 million square meters industrial park dedicated solely to the textile and apparel sector is located in Hawassa city, 275 kms southeast of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
Haielmariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, said that the eco-friendly Hawassa industrial park will showcase that environmental protection and development can go hand in hand.
“The manufacturing sector’s share in Ethiopia’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) for many years stood at only 5 percent, showing the need for economic structural challenge if the country is to meet its economic promise” said the PM.
Yuan Li, Chairman of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), which designed and built the industrial park, said that Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) has already attracted 15 major manufacturing firms from China, Indonesia, U.S. and Ethiopia.
“Industrial parks create powerful wing for economic development of a country, our company deem ourselves as a strategic long-term link between China and Ethiopia” said Yuan.
Arkebe Oqubay, special advisor to the PM said the park can attract Chinese firms that are moving overseas to open plants.
According to him, Ethiopia with a young labor force of 45 million people has a huge potential in the manufacturing sector.
“As annual manufacturing growth currently is 25 percent, in 10 years time, it’s projected to increase its GDP share by four fold and it’s share in exports to 50 percent,” said Arkebe Oqubay.
The Hawassa Industrial Park is expected to employ 60,000 people at full capacity and be able to generate export revenue amounting to 1 billion U.S. dollars.
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