INTERVIEW: Ethiopia Seeks Investment by Japanese Manufacturers

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 9 (Jiji Press)--Arkebe Oqubay Metiku, head of the economic planning, monitoring and supporting sector at the office of the Ethiopian prime minister, has called on Japanese manufacturers to invest in his country.

Labor costs in the African country are "lower than in Asian countries," Arkebe said in a recent interview with Jiji Press in Tokyo, adding that Ethiopia, with a population of some 100 million, is an attractive market.

In 2011, the country established the Ethiopian Kaizen Institute, a government agency, to promote kaizen, a Japanese method for improving productivity. Strengthening the manufacturing sector is a pillar of the Ethiopian government's economic development policy.

"Japanese firms have primarily focused in Asia because geographical proximity was important for building supply chains," Arkebe said.

But labor costs are now increasing in Asia while the investment climate in Ethiopia is "improving," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press