Ethiopia attributes economic growth to rising exports-W/Bank

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Addis Ababa, 23 July 2014 (WIC) - Rising exports have contributed to Ethiopia’s double digit economic growth over the past decade, but the recent drop in prices has exposed underlying vulnerabilities in the country’s export structure, the World Bank said in a report on Wednesday.

There is scope for improving the quality of existing commodity exports, through basic value addition, such as coffee wet processing or machine flaying of animal skins said Guang Zhe Chen, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia.

Chen said by starting to compete on the quality of existing commodity exports (and not just on price), Ethiopia can reduce sensitivity to volatile international prices thereby supporting the gradual shift of production and exports into agro-processing and light manufacturing.

Ethiopia’s export sector is currently too small to contribute to structural transformation, unlike in East Asia, where booming exports helped shift economic activity and workers away from low productivity agriculture into higher-productivity, said Lars Moller, World Bank Lead Economist and Program Leader and one of the lead authors of the report. (APA)