British textile and agricultural raw material firm Intrade UK Ltd is investing US$100m in a textile and garment factory in Ethiopia.
The new facility will be built at the Mekelle Industrial Park in northern Ethiopia, which was inaugurated last year and follows the Hawassa and Kombolcha industrial parks with a focus on textiles and apparel.
Intrade, which owns cotton farming in Sudan, has a $200m investment license in textile and garment, pharmaceutical and agricultural products in Ethiopia after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and expects to create more than 1,300 new jobs.
The agreement was signed by chief executive officer Wagdi M Mahgoub and investment commissioner Fitsum Arega, who said the number of investors engaging in the country’s textile and garment industry is growing.
The new factory is expected to strengthen the country’s production potential by supplying raw materials and textiles for garment exporters, thus replacing the reliance on imported inputs.
Mahgoub said favourable investment opportunities attracted his company to invest in Ethiopia. The factory is expected to start production within 16 months.
Intrade is the latest company to invest in Ethiopia. In November, Chinese textile giant Wuxi No.1 Cotton Mill signed an investment agreement with the Ethiopian Government to build an integrated textile plant at Dire Dawa, around 450 km east of the capital Addis Ababa.
Textile investment is pouring into Ethiopia, helped by the shared vision of brands, manufacturers and fabric mills, government support, preferential trade deals, investments in infrastructure, low costs – and an unexpected windfall from the end of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).