Country Information - Ethiopia
ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDEthiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, 85% of exports, and 80% of total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices, and as many as 4.6 million people need food assistance annually. Coffee is critical to the Ethiopian economy with exports of some $260 million in 2000. Other important exports include qat, live animals, hides, and gold. The war with Eritrea in 1999-2000 and recurrent drought have buffeted the economy, in particular coffee production. In November 2001 Ethiopia qualified for debt relief from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
Under Ethiopia's land tenure system, the government owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; the system continues to hamper growth in the industrial sector as entrepreneurs are unable to use land as collateral for loans. Despite this limitation, strong growth is expected to continue in the near term as good rainfall, the cessation of hostilities, and renewed foreign aid and debt relief push the economy forward.
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BI-LATERAL TRADE OVERVIEWBi-lateral trade between Ethiopia and the United States peaked in 1999 and 2001, but has since dropped sharply. Ethiopia is a net importer of U.S. goods, and in 2002 recorded a trade deficit of $ 34 million.
Total exports to the US in 2002 amounted to $ 25 million (2001: $ 28 million) (see link to Country Trade Profile below). Exports eligible under the newly-added AGOA product categories amounted to only $ 0.2 million in 2001, the first full year of operation of AGOA, and increased to $ 1,3 million in 2002. They consisted exclusively of 'textiles and apparel' and 'agricultural products'. Ethiopia met the 'Rules of Origin' requirements for wearing apparel on August 2, 2001, in addition to being classified as a 'Lesser Developed Country' (providing a window of opportunity for sourcing third country textile inputs for the production of AGOA-eligible garments). There are tentative indications that there will continue to be year-on-year increases in AGOA exports from 2002 onwards, especially in apparel exports.
The make-up of Ethiopia's exports to the U.S. currently consists mostly of 'agricultural products', although this is likely to diversify over time as AGOA-eligible products begin to feature more prominently in exports.
Detailed bilateral trade data for this country, disaggregated by industry sector, can be accessed by following the link below. Aggregate data featuring all AGOA-eligible countries is updated on this website as soon as new data is published, including ranked AGOA / non-AGOA trade, aggregate trade by industry sector as well as the latest apparel trade data.
Click here for Detailed Trade Profile
21 AGOA FORUM 2013: Ethiopia will host the 2013 US-Africa AGOA Forum. AGOA.info has been informed that the Forum will not take place as envisaged on 28 June - 1 July, but at a later date yet to be determined. The theme for this year’s Forum is “Trade and Technology for sustained change”“
21 December 2012: Guinea-Bissau and Mali lose AGOA eligibility
APRIL 2013: Monthly data has been updated to include February 2013 data, quarterly includes full year 2012 data.
New US strategy towards Africa: White House Factsheet on new strategy towards Africa, plus overview of past US engagement with Africa. Click here for the file and this link for a summary article.
02 August 2012: Bill to extend third country fabric provision passes Congress Download the House of Reps. Bill at this link
South Sudan declared AGOA-eligible on 26 March 2012. Earlier, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Gambia declared AGOA eligible on 25 October 2011. See news item, presidential declaration and trade overview at this link (S Sudan) and here (others).
US GSP extended and GSP benefits to be applied retrospectively for the year 2011 since expiry of previous GSP. See AGOA.info legal documents section at the following link.
AGOA at 10: Reflections on US-Africa trade with a focus on SACU: Tralac Working Paper that can be downloaded at this
December 2010: The Democratic Republic of Congo loses its AGOA eligibility status. See proclamation here (pdf download available at this link
ITC investigation of textiles and apparel: Further details at this link
AGOA IV – Changes to AGOA explained
For disaggregated trade data covering each AGOA country, follow the relevant link in the Country Sections (left column) or click here.
For detailed AGOA maps click here