Industry Ministry State Minister Tadesse Haile said that the Ministry is working on enhancing the sector’s improvement both in quality of leather products and private companies involvement. To provide its part on the fulfillment of the second GTP, the sector is required to perform effectively and efficiently to increase the nation’s foreign exchange income, the Minister added.
The Minister further said that assisting the sector with better technological inputs will be given priority to boost the sector’s competitiveness at the international market. “To this end, the government is working to providing trained and skilled humanpower to the sector through opening a new department in collaboration with the Addis Ababa University. Currently, there are 300 students pursuing their education at first degree level in the area.”
According to the Minister, in the future exporting finished leather products will be appreciated to enhance the Ethiopian leather products competitiveness at the international market. Related with motivating the sector and the private investors the government is providing reinforcement as well as providing access to work at the newly constructed industrial parks.
Institute Executive Director Wondu Legesse on his part said that financial market shortage as well as raw skin quality problem were the major hindrances in the sector. Taking advantage of the government’s support to the sector, the issue of competitiveness need to be addressed consistently, he added.
According to him, the sector’s nine-month export income has decreased when compared with the past year performance owing to the decline in leather products demand at the international market.
Tikur Abay Shoe Factory Executive Director Abebe Teklu said that the incentives provided by the government enables local factories to compete with foreign investors. “Lack of trained humanpower in the area and transportation problem is holding us back from working with our maximum potential.”
On the occasion, various tanneries, footwear, gloves as well as leather garments and manufacturing companies representatives participated in the discussion.