Ethiopia has captured the attention of Ithraa as an emerging and growing market for Omani exporters. At a workshop held at the Muscat Crowne Plaza, Ithraa’s Export Development Directorate, headed by Nasima Al Balushi, identified 59 products with the potential to meet the demands of one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.
“Ethiopia has emerged as one of Africa’s most exciting new markets and the fastest-growing economy on the continent. Our optimism is shared by the International Monetary Fund’s projection of Ethiopia as the third fastest-growing economy between 2011 – 15, trailing only China and India. We believe that with continued market and pro-business reforms and global integration, Ethiopia is positioned for further growth, and this presents some exciting opportunities for Omani exporters,” commented Mrs Al Balushi.
The Ithraa workshop showcased the findings of an extensive market study which highlighted a range of opportunities across the Ethiopian food, stone, pharmaceuticals, cables, aluminum and plastic sectors.
With a population of almost 85 million people, Ethiopia is the second largest country in Africa and is undergoing an extensive infrastructural boom which is seeing the development of industrial zones. In 2012-13, its economy grew by 9.7%, representing the tenth year in a row of solid growth. Agriculture, which accounts for 42.7% of GDP, grew by 7.1%, while industry, accounting for 12.3% of GDP, rose by 18.5% and services, with 45% of GDP, increased by 9.9% in 2012/13.
Ithraa’s Ethiopian market study predicts further economic growth and identifies business opportunities that have to date, remained unexplored.
“Now is the time to engage with Ethiopian importers. The three workshops we’re running are designed to help local companies develop strong and focused export strategies, as well as provide the necessary information on how to capitalize on the commercial opportunities that exist in Ethiopia,” said Ithraa’s Director General of Export Development.
The workshop provided a detailed assessment of Ethiopia’s legislature, market needs, demographics, the rise of an educated middle class and its increased purchasing power, as well as the government’s stance on consumer protection.
Following the success of the Sohar and Muscat events, a final Ethiopian market workshop is scheduled for 9th June in Salalah.
“Given the overwhelming positive response to the workshops, we intend to run a series of promotional B-2-B meetings in Ethiopia to help Omani companies penetrate the market,” concluded Al Balushi.
The workshops were based on a market research study conducted by Advanced Business Consultants an economic and venture management consultancy in Oman, in collaboration with the Addis Ababa-based Sub-Saharan Africa Research and Training Center.