Ethiopia, officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is the most populous landlocked country located in the Horn of Africa, known for being the origin of mankind. It occupies a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometers (420,000 sq. mi), and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.
In 2014/15 fiscal year, Ethiopia’s economy grew by 10.3%- the tenth consecutive year of robust growth. In 2014/15, Ethiopia was the twelfth fastest growing economy in the world. GDP annual growth rate in Ethiopia averaged 5.33% from 1981 until 2013, reaching an all-time high of 13.9% in 1986 and record low of -11.1% in 1984. In Nov. of 2015, Agriculture, which accounts for 21.84% of GDP, grew by 0.71%, while manufacturing, accounting for 7.77% of GDP, rose by 15.8% and services, with 25.10% of GDP, increased by 6.85% from the previous year. This momentum is expected to continue in 2015/16.
Between 2014/15, merchandise exports totaled us $2.9807 billion, posting a 6.9% decline from the previous fiscal year and decreasing from 5.83% to an estimated 4.72% as a share of GDP. The value of imports, mainly from Europe and Asia, increased from about US $15.38 billion in 2013/14 to US $16.5 billion in 2014/15. With imports rising faster than exports, the trade deficit deteriorated to US $13.52 Billion in 2014/15, from US $12.179 Billion in the previous year. However, the overall balance of payments deficit in 2012/13 decreased significantly, down by 88% compared to the previous year, mainly due to good performance in other accounts (surplus in the non-factor service trade, huge private transfers and the surplus in the capital account).
Ethiopia is endowed with abundant agricultural resources and has diverse ecological zones. In 2009, the government of Ethiopia shifted its agricultural policy focus towards encouraging private investment (both domestic and foreign) in larger scale commercial farms (defined as farms of 5000 hectares or more). The ministry of Agriculture (MOA) created a new Agricultural Investment Support Directorate and charged the new office with negotiating long term leases on over seven million acres of land for these commercial farms. The directorate’s goal is to boost productivity, employment, technology transfer and foreign exchange reserves by offering incentives to private investors.
Ethiopia main exports are gold (21% of total export) and coffee (19 percent). Others include: live animals, oil seeds, flowers and khat. Ethiopia main export partner is Switzerland (21percent of total exports) mainly for export of gold. Others include: Somalia (11percent), china (8percent), Sudan (8percent) and Saudi Arabia (7percent).
Source: Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC)