Addis Ababa November 11/2021 (ENA) Ethiopia needs to diversify its export market destinations and increase the volume of products by exploiting the abundant agricultural resources, the economic expert Gutu Tesso said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, the expert said Ethiopia’s suspension from AGOA may have impact on the economy.
As Ethiopia has been using AGOA for many years, it was able to attract more investors, build big industries, create better employment opportunities, and grow its market value chain, Gutu noted.
The government therefore needs a strategy to diversify market access, even if it is difficult to find a replacement for the US market in a short term, he stated.
If Ethiopia exports to a few countries and its market ties are strong with only few countries, the economic chain will be in trouble, the economic expert added.
“Creating alternative market access is always important. This is one of the basics. Second, it would be better to trade with countries that have comparable economy with our country,” Gutu pointed out.
He explained that trading with these countries will increase competitiveness and there will be a chance of maintaining lasting benefits.
According to Gutu, who is also Senior Advisor on Disaster Risk Management (DRM) to the Government of Ethiopia at European Union, this approach will reduce dependency and makes it difficult to create a proxy colony.
The economic expert said, it is very difficult to suggest that the Ethiopian government should adopt this or that policy option at this point, but the basic issue is to create peace and stability.
“If we can do this, we would be able to focus on agriculture, which is the backbone of our economy, and increase the volume of exportable products, diversify the composition of exportable produces.”
Gutu stressed that industries need to target the domestic market in the short and medium terms and identify the needs of neighboring countries to produce products that are suitable for them.
“Any available market needs to be utilized and apart from things that are essential to Ethiopia’s survival, there is a need to reduce other products imported with foreign currency,” he underlined.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier that the US decision to suspend Ethiopia’s privileges over the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is misguided and removing the preferential agreement will affect the livelihood of more than 200,000 low-income families.