Bahir Dar Industrial Park Starts Exporting Apparel

ADDIS ABABA – Bahir Dar Industrial Park has begun exporting apparel products to the international market a year after its inauguration.

“The first textile and apparel products from Bahir Dar Industrial Park have begun to be exported,” announced Ethiopia’s Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) on Thursday.

Women-wear manufacturer, Hop Lun Apparel Ethiopia, becomes the first company to start exporting from the industrial complex located in the capital of Amhara regional state, according to the IPDC.

Hop Lun Apparel Ethiopia, which produces women’s wear, exported its first manufactured products worth nearly $200,000, according to officials. The company currently has  1000 workers and plans to create 9,000 job opportunities when fully operational.

Bahir Dar IP officially started operation soon after its inauguration in the presence of top government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Oct 2020.

The construction of its first phase on 75ha of land was carried out at a cost of 161 million birr – with 8 sheds immediately occupied by investors.

Including Bahir Dar, Ethiopia has 11 industrial parks, which created over 79,000 job opportunities in the first quarter of the current 2021/22 fiscal year alone.

More than 82 percent of the workers in these industrial complexes are females. according to IPDC.

Their jobs, however, have been put at risk after the US, the major destination of Ethiopia’s apparel and garment products, recently decided to suspend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) over politics.

The government called the decision “misguided” in that does not take into account the “commitment of the U.S. to value the wellbeing of ordinary citizens”.

It is, however, undertaking several diplomatic efforts to push the US to keep Ethiopia under the trade deal, Dina Mufti, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The government estimates the suspension of the trade deal will directly affect at least 200.000 workers, mostly women, and considerably impair the lives of one million people who engage in the supply chain ecosystem of the industries.