Ethiopia will export only finished leather goods beginning next month, announced the Ministry of Trade (MoT).
The groundwork has been laid to halt the export of raw hides and skin as of December said Ahmed Nuru representing the Minister of Trade at a half day consultative forum discussing the national leather sector.
Leather factories in Ethiopia have developed the capabilities to export finished leather goods said Ahmed. The factories have enhanced their capacity to add value to leather to a higher standard he explained.
Efforts to increase revenue from the leather sector to 497 million US dollars within the next five years are underway according to Ahmed.An element of the national plan for the leather sector includes replacing leather imports with local alternatives explained the representative.
Export of raw hides and skins have deprived Ethiopia of significant benefits said Wondu Legesse Director General of the Ethiopian Leather Industry Development Institute.
The leather institute will provide the support leather factories require to enhance their capacity to produce quality leather products that can be competitive in the international market explained Wondu.
The leather sector in Ethiopia is inhibited by various issues including the shortage of quality hides and skins, skilled manpower, spare parts, chemicals and financing said Wondu.
The consultative forum was attended by shoe and leather factory owners as well as representatives for non-governmental and governmental organizations.
Source: Walta Information Centre