To facilitate the continued increase of AGOA exports from Ethiopia, the Ministry of Trade and Industry reached out to the Hub in 2018 to provide technical support in the development of the Ethiopia National AGOA Strategy. The AGOA strategy identifies challenges and interventions to facilitate the increase in exports of coffee, flowers, textile and apparel, footwear and leather goods, and specialty foods (including oil seeds, herbs and spices, and edible oil extracts). Coffee, though not an AGOA eligible product, is an important export from Ethiopia and is duty free into the U.S.
To achieve consensus among high level technical officers of the Ethiopian government on the draft strategy and action plan, the Hub conducted a final AGOA Validation Workshop on May 9 in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian exports to the U.S. under AGOA have been steadily growing since 2010. AGOA/GSP exports were $158.6 million in 2018, up 71.0% from the $92.8 million in 2017. The main contributors to AGOA exports were apparel ($110.0 million), footwear ($34.6 million), home décor and fashion accessories including leather articles ($6.9 million), and cut flowers ($5.3 million). A number of large apparel and footwear companies have set up operations in the country and these investments have contributed to the steady growth experienced. AGOA/GSP goods comprise 32% of Ethiopia’s total merchandise exports to the U.S.
“This is a very important intervention for Ethiopia to explore AGOA opportunities more in the coming years. We look forward to an effective implementation of the strategy, and Ethiopia Investment Authority will shoulder all the bestowed responsibilities,” said Temesgen Tilahun, Deputy Commissioner of the Ethiopia Investment Commission.
Ethiopia has positioned itself as a low-cost, light industry investment destination and has attracted significant investment in export-oriented production.