ITC facilitates China-Ethiopia investment plans worth over $2 billion

17 May 2019
ITC News
PIGA initiative facilitated agreements between Chinese investors, Ethiopian government

Chinese companies are set to invest as much as $2.3 billion in Ethiopia to set up export-oriented plants in the pulp and paper, pharmaceutical and meat processing industries, after striking agreements with the Ethiopian authorities facilitated by the International Trade Centre.

On the margins of the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing from 26-27 April, the Chinese investors and the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), the country’s investment promotion agency, signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to engage in agro-processing and manufacturing investment projects. ITC’s Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa (PIGA) initiative had worked with both the Ethiopian and Chinese stakeholders to help bring the deals to fruition.

The planned investments include a large-scale bamboo development and pulp-paper manufacturing plant to be set-up in Assosa, the capital of Ethiopia’s western Benishangul-Gumuz region; a pharmaceutical plant in Kilinto Industrial Park, south of the capital; and a fully integrated livestock and meat processing park in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Tan Jian and other high-ranking government officials witnessed the high-profile signing ceremony. ITC was represented by Xuejun Jiang, Chief for Asia and the Pacific.

The three investment projects are expected to significantly contribute to creating jobs, increasing exports and promoting industrial development in Ethiopia. The bamboo development and pulp-paper manufacturing foresees a $2 billion investment that would directly employ over 3000 people to produce 1 million tons of paper per year. The $75 million pharmaceutical plant is expected to manufacture highly-needed medical dressing products for both Ethiopian and international markets. The final investment foresees setting up a fully integrated livestock processing industrial park in partnership with the Ethiopian government. With a setup cost of approximately $216 million, the park is projected to have the potential to attract $3 billion in additional foreign investment.

The PIGA project, which works to enable Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia to drive growth and create jobs by attracting Chinese investment into the light manufacturing and agro-processing sectors, helped enable these planned investment projects by hosting investment promotion events, roundtable discussions, and government-to-company (G2C) face-to-face investment meetings in China and Ethiopia.

ITC will continue to provide support to the Ethiopian government and the Chinese companies until the planned projects come to fruition.