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Economic Indicator: Destination Of Ethiopian Export‎‎‎‎
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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 20, 2006 – While the structure of export is not expected to show significant change over a period of a year, the volume and value of export can experience tremendous change from one year to another. This is exactly the case with Ethiopia's export during the fiscal year 2004/05. The total reached 6.86 billion birr, which is 1.7 billion birr more than the total amount for the preceding 2003/04 Ethiopian fiscal year. This shows that the country's export had grown by 33.3 percent during the fiscal year.

Coffee, flowers, fruits and vegetables, hides and skins, leather products, live animals, meat and meat products and spices were among the products which had recorded a significant increase in the value of export. On the other hand, cotton, textiles and garments, and tantalite ore were among those products whose export value declined during the just ended fiscal year.

According to the Ethiopian foreign trade annual, Europe, with 43.7 percent of the total share of country's export during the fiscal year 2004/05, was the leading continent of destination of Ethiopian commodities. It was followed by Asia, Africa and North and Central America, which shared 32.4, 16.1 and 6.5 percent of the total exports of Ethiopia respectively. The share of South America, Australia and Oceania at 0.2 percent each was insignificant as compared to the other countries.

A report indicated that Germany, with 16 percent share in the total export of Ethiopia, was the leading country of destination in 2004/05. It was followed by Japan, where 7.7 percent of the total export was destined. Saudi Arabia, with a share of 5.8 percent, United States of America with a share of 5.6 percent and Italy with a share of 5.5 percent are among the leading importers of Ethiopian commodities. The only African countries with a meaningful share of 5.3 percent, 3.6 percent and 3.3 percent of the total export of Ethiopia were the neighboring Djibouti, Somalia and Somaliland, respectively.

Ethiopia is a member of COMESA, a regional economic grouping of Eastern and Southern African countries. The member countries had entered into preferential trading arrangement. Accordingly, all imports of Ethiopia originate from member countries. In addition, being a member of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, Ethiopia enjoys a privilege of exporting its products to European Union member countries. As one of Africa's Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Ethiopia is also eligible to make use of the privileges provided by the United States government under its act known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The report noted that COMESA member countries, despite their proximity and preferential trading arrangement, had a very insignificant share in the total export of Ethiopia during the fiscal year 2004/05.    

This can be explained, among other things, by the type of commodities the member countries trade with, which is identical in nature. Out of the total 584 million birr worth export to COMESA member countries Djibouti, the leading partner in the preferential trade area, had a share of 361.2 million birr or 61.8 percent of the total export to member countries.

Sudan with 129.5 million birr of total export of Ethiopia was the second among member countries with a share of 22.2 percent. It was followed by Egypt, Kenya and Swaziland, which had a share of 8.0 percent, 3.3 percent and 2.8 percent in the total export to COMESA member countries, respectively.

The European Union, with a total value of export estimated at 2.68 billion birr, had a share of 39 percent in the total exports of Ethiopia during the fiscal year 2004/05. Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Luxemburg and France were the main export destinations among the member countries, each of them having more than five percent share in total export to European Union member countries. The first two countries, Germany and Italy, had a share of 42.7 and 14.1 percent respectively in the total export to EU member states.

(Compiled by Melaku Demissie)

Source: The Reporter

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