Ethiopia Eyes Export Trade to Avert Debt Burden

The government of Ethiopia has planned to boost its export trade in order to reduce the current debt burden that the country faces, Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation said.

Ethiopia's risk of external debt distress remains moderate since 2015/2016 although the burden has reached 26 billion USD, which indicates high risk in debt distress.

Based on the Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA), Ethiopian external debt was law risk from 2012 to 2015; moderate in 2016 but high in 2017 due to underperformance of export trade.

In a press conference he gave here today, Communication Director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Haji Ebsa said Ethiopia's export sector underperformed compared to the projections.

The country has secured close to three million US dollars from export sector in 2017/18 fiscal year, while the nation imported 56 billion USD worth of products at the same time, Haji said.

The director said there is a huge gap between the external debt and the country's export performance, which has enforced the country to face external debt pressure.

In this regard, Ethiopia has planned to increase the quantity of value added products that the country exports to fix the current shortfall of trade balance.

The Director further stated that study has been finalized to implement Public-Private Partnership policy with loan of 1.7 billion USD fro African Development Bank (ADB).

Public-Private Partnership policy is an infrastructure delivery mechanism to facilitate initial pilot projects and public services that could benefit the private sector experience and investment.

Sub-Saharan African nations are at growing risk of debt distress because of heavy borrowing and deficits, despite an overall economic growth, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 Addis Ababa August 14/2018(ENA)