WB $250 mln credit for Competitiveness and Job Creation Project

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Addis Ababa, 16 May 2014 (WIC) -The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors on May 13 approved a US$250 million IDA credit in support of the Government Competitiveness and Job Creation Project.

According to MoFA, the credit is aimed at creating new jobs and increase competitiveness in the light manufacturing sector through the development of industrial zones and enhancing linkages with the local economy.

The project is designed to establish industrial zones as a platform for catalyzing investment and job creation, with a focus on export-led manufacturing, and tackling cross-cutting constraints for private sector development.

It will provide large and medium-sized firms with new, serviced industrial land and buildings (including water, electricity, and transport connections), and with a One-Stop Shop to reduce the transaction costs of doing business.

The project will also target small to medium-sized enterprises that will act as local suppliers for the light manufacturing sector, as well as sector institutes that will be involved in project implementation and in developing skills and training of workers with requisite skills.

"Growth of the manufacturing sector creates employment opportunities for the poor, as light manufacturing primarily uses unskilled and semi-skilled labor," said Guang Zhe Chen, the World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia.

"Job creation through industrialization will help contribute to the reduction of extreme poverty and promotion of shared prosperity which are key goals of the World Bank Group."