A report from the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) has revealed that over 10.7 million dollars (half a billion Birr) has been gained from the Dire Dewa Free Trade Zone in the last fiscal year. The development of FTZs is one of the major economic initiatives set as part of Ethiopia’s 10-year perspective development plan. Officials disclosed that efforts to bring logistics and trade sectors into the free trade zone are in the pipeline. Located 445Km east of the capital, Dire Dewa city was selected due to its proximity to ports, market potential, and huge cargo gravity along with suitable multimodal transport and logistics operation a year ago. Since then, the Zone has opened doors to international and domestic manufacturers with 15 factory sheds housing textile and apparel manufacturers from China, Italy, and Sri Lanka, employing over 1,000 people in the year. While forex shortages and power fluctuations undermine the possible export earnings, the government is engaged in a gradual process of economic reform and liberalisation, and the state remains heavily involved in most economic sectors.
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