Coffee; hides, skin and leather products; textile and garments;
cereal, pulses and oilseeds; meat products and live cattle; fruits
and vegetable; cut flowers. Other export commodities include spices,
civet, beverages, beeswax, gall-stone and fish.
Being the origin of coffee arabica, Ethiopia has immense potential
to offer the world market a wide variety of flavors of organically
produced, washed and sun-dried coffee. Flavors range from the fruity
flavor of Ghimbi to the winery flavor of Limu to the cheesy flavor
of Illubabor to the mocha flavors of Yirga cheffe and Harar. Today,
coffee consumers worldwide are appreciating the value of organic
coffee's natural aroma and flavor. More than 90 percent of the coffee
harvested in Ethiopia is organically grown. The inherently superior
quality of Ethiopian highland arabica coffee is unmatched, particularly
in flavor and aroma. Ethiopia also produces several types of coffee,
the water soluble extracts of which can be used for hot beverages,
iced drinks, ice creams and in the confectionary industry.
and leather products:
Ethiopia offers a wide range of processed and semi-processed hides
and skins to the world market. Some of the products, such as Ethiopian
highland sheepskin (which has gained an international reputation
for making gloves), are known for their quality and natural characteristics.
Ethiopian hide and skin exports include pickled sheep skin, wet
blue sheep skin, crust sheep skin, wet blue goat skin, crust goat
skin, crust cow hides, finished garment leather, finished glove
leather, lining/upper leather, suede leather, full grain leather,
embossed leather and patent leather. The export of finished leather
and leather products (such as leather garments, footwear, gloves,
bags and other leather articles) is also highly promising.
animals and meat:
With the largest livestock population in Africa, Ethiopia has an
ample supply base for the export of live animals and meat. Its livestock
resources are estimated at 27 million cattle, 24 million sheep and
18 million goats. Livestock husbandry is mostly carried out under
natural grazing, making the meat and meat products obtained from
the animals very tasty and nutritionally healthy for human consumption.
Ethiopia's main exports of live animals and meat products include
steers and yearlings; lowland sheep and goats; fresh and chilled
lamb and mutton carcass; fresh and chilled goat carcass; fresh and
chilled veal carcass and beef four quarter; fresh and chilled boneless
veal and beef; frozen lamb, mutton and goat carcass and veal and
beef special cuts.
Fabrics and Garments:
The textile industry is the largest manufacturing industry in the
country. There are more than fourteen major state-owned and private
textile and garment factories. The industry employs about 30,000
workers and represents 36% of the entire manufacturing industry.
The main textile products manufactured in the country are cotton
and nylon fabrics, acrylic yarn, woolen and waste cotton blankets
and sewing thread. The domestic potential of cotton production as
basic raw material is far more than the demand of the currently
installed spinning capacity and the availability of cheap labor
is one of the major parameters for considering this industrial sector
as one of the strategic industries for export development.
Ethiopian oilseeds and pulses are known for their flavor and nutritional
value as they are mostly produced organically. For instance, the
Ethiopian white sesame seed is used as a reference for grading in
international markets. In terms of quantity, in 1996-1997, for example,
Ethiopia exported 87 thousand tons of oilseeds and 20 thousand tons
of pulses. Ethiopia's major oilseed and pulse exports include sesame
seeds, nigger seeds, linseeds, sunflower seeds, groundnuts, rapeseeds,
castor oil seeds, pumpkin seeds, haricot beans, pea-beans, horse
beans and chick peas. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel, EU countries,
and some Asian and neighboring African countries constitute the
major markets for Ethiopia's oilseeds and pulse exports.
Vegetables and Flowers
With a favorable climate, abundant labor, land and water resources,
most regions of the country are suitable for the production of a
wide range of tropical and sub-tropical fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The major vegetable export products include potatoes, green beans,
okra, melon, white and red onions, shallots, cabbage, leeks, beetroot,
carrots, green chilies, tomatoes and lettuce. The main exportable
fruits include oranges, mandarin grapefruit, mangos, guavas, lemons
and limes, while cut flower exports include statice, allium, roses
The quality of tea mainly depends on climatic conditions, the type
of soil upon which the plant grows and the method of processing.
In Ethiopia, tea is mostly grown in the highland dense forest regions
where the land is fertile and thus the use of fertilizer is very
minimal. Moreover, the availability of abundant and cheap labor
in the country has made the use of manual weeding, instead of chemical
seeding, possible. Because of this mostly organic cultivation, Ethiopian
tea is increasingly sought for its aroma and natural flavors. This
is confirmed by the "International Gold Star" award for
quality, recently given by B.D.I in Madrid, Spain to one of the
major Ethiopian tea exporters: Tea Production and Marketing Enterprise.
Ethiopia is endowed with distinct climatic conditions that enable
it to grow diverse plant species, which are used for industrial
and pharmaceutical purposes. Acacia, commiphora and boswellia are
examples of one group of plant species that grows in the arid and
semi-arid areas yielding gum. The increasing consumption of convenience
foods has enhanced the growth of gum production and use over the
past several years. As in most other sectors of the additive industry,
increasing health consciousness has tended to fuel the demand for
thickeners of natural origin. The major gum products produced mainly
for export are gum olibanum derived from boswellia, gum myrrh and
oppoponex derived from commiphora and gum Arabic derived from acacia
species. Apart from their pharmaceutical applications, these products
have a wide-range of industrial uses in such areas as beverages,
candies, chewing gum, confectionaries, dairy products, gelatins,
nut products, puddings and canned vegetables. Typical applications
for gum products include: adhesive thickeners; thickeners, stabilizers,
flavor, fixatives and emulsifying agents in food products; clarification
in beverages; release agents for rubber products and formulations
According to studies, there are diverse mineral deposits in various
parts of the country that can meet export standards. Minerals currently
being exported include gold, platinum, marble, granite and tantalum.
Export of these minerals is on a very limited scale relative to
their immense export potential. Other metallic and non-metallic
substances that have also been identified in the country include
copper, lead, zinc, silver, gypsum, limestone, quartz and pyrite.
Most Ethiopian mineral products are exportable to markets in East
and Southern Africa and in Asia and Oceania. Due to freight costs,
Ethiopian exports have an advantage in these regions of the world
over established exports from Europe and North America. Ethiopia
has also recently entered into the export of high quality dimensional
stones (i.e., different types of unprocessed blocks, as well as
processed marble, granite and limestone suitable for both internal
and external uses.
Please Visit: www.ethioexport.org
Aircraft; motor vehicles, agricultural and industrial machinery,
equipment and spare parts; chemicals and pharmaceuticals; petroleum
products; food products; garments and footwear; building materials.
For further Information: contact us
Import and Export Business
in Ethiopia: Methods of
An Ethiopian importer or
exporter who is engaged in
import or export business in
Ethiopia should know what
type of import export
payments in Ethiopia are
possible while doing import
or export trade in Ethiopia
or with Ethiopian
Letter of credit L/C
Sight Vs Usance
It is a written commitment to pay, by a buyer's or importer's bank to the seller's or exporter's bank. LC guarantees payment.
A supplier or exporter that has sold to an Ethiopian Importer on LC basis should present to the bank these four sets of documents: Original sets of CLEAN Bill of lading, Shipping Document (Airway Bill, Truck way bill or Railway Manifest), Commercial Invoice that’s verified by the chamber of commerce of the supplier’s country, Packing List and Certificate of Origin that’s verified by the chamber of commerce of the supplier’s country. If the goods are imported from China, a CIQ certificate (pre shipment inspection certificate carried out by China AQSIQ) should be presented along with the other four documents.
The two most basic types of L/C are Revocable-credit L/C and Irrevocable-credit L/C, which comes in two versions: Confirmed irrevocable letter of credit and Non-confirmed irrevocable L/C.
Cash Against Documents (CAD)
A transaction in which the buyer assumes the title for the goods being purchased upon paying the sale price in cash. It’s quicker than LC, but not as safe; Ethiopian exporters are advised to use CAD is they have a very good relationship with the buyer and know that the credentials of the buyer make it trustworthy.
A supplier or exporter that has sold to an Ethiopian Importer on CAD basis should present to the bank these four sets of documents: Original sets of CLEAN Bill of lading, Shipping Document (Airway Bill, Truck way bill or Railway Manifest), Commercial Invoice that’s verified by the chamber of commerce of the supplier’s country, Packing List and Certificate of Origin that’s verified by the chamber of commerce of the supplier’s country. If the goods are imported from China, a CIQ certificate (pre shipment inspection certificate carried out by China AQSIQ) should be presented along with the other four documents.
Telegraphic Transfer (TT)
It’s a method of payment in which funds are transferred via telegraph or cable. It’s most common in business conducted in developing countries, where other types of infrastructure, such as computerized payments, may not be available; however, in Ethiopia all imports, of which value is more than USD 2000, are required to be done via LC or CAD.
An advance payment, or simply an advance, is the part of a contractually due sum that is paid in advance for goods or services, while the balance included in the invoice will only follow the delivery. It is called a prepaid expense in accrual accounting. In Ethiopia an advance payment of up to USD 5000 may be allowable and can be done through Telegraphic Transfer.
Download Ethiopian Tariff Book
Types of L/C
1. Revocable L/C Vs Irrevocable L/C
If this type of L/C is once opened, it can not be changed or cancelled or amended without the consent of all parties (including the beneficiary or the seller).
A revocable L/C may be amended or cancelled by the Issuing Bank at any moment and without prior notice to the Beneficiary. The cancellation is usually made at the request and on the instructions of the applicant.
2. Confirmed L/C Vs Advised (Unconfirmed L/C)
It is a type of L/C in which the Confirming Bank promises to pay.When an exporter exports to a country with economical or political instability or if the exporter is unfamiliar with the Issuing Bank, the exporter should require that the L/C be confirmed by a first-class bank. If L/C is confirmed, the confirming bank is liable for the payment. The payment is assured even if the importer or the issuing bank defaults. However, under normal circumstances, an unconfirmed LC may be preferred to avoid the charges that would be paid by both the buyer and seller for confirmation.
Advised L/C (Unconfirmed L/C)
Is opened by an issuing bank in which the advising bank does not add its confirmation to the credit. The promise to pay comes from the issuing bank only.
3. Straight L/C Vs Negotiation L/C
It can only be paid in the country of the Paying Bank.
It can be presented and paid to any bank.