Inditex, H&M, Decathlon or Primark are some of the major operators in the sector that have already opted to source from the African country. Chinese know how and low labour costs are its main incentives for the sector.
The prospect for fashion expands beyond Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam or Bangladesh. The coronavirus crisis has triggered the turn of large operators in the sector to supply outside of China. With Southeast Asia and Turkey on the brink of saturation, Ethiopia is now positioned as one of the most striking hubs for the sector, where the focus has been on for several years. Low salaries, foreign investment led by China and commitment to infrastructure are the country’s biggest incentives for operators in the sector.
Although the first textile factories in Ethiopia were launched in 1939, it wasn’t until until recent years that the sector flipped, growing at an annual average of more than 50% and hosting around 65 international investment projects.
The factories present in the territory today produce wool, cotton and nylon fabrics, acrylic and cotton threads, sewing thread and ready-made garments, among others. The economic plans of the country go through being the main textile supply hub in Africa in eight years, following in the footsteps of other countries such as Vietnam or Bangladesh.