Amidst the challenges faced by the outbreak of the global pandemic, coronavirus, Ethiopian economy is expected to grow by six percent this year, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.
Addressing the members of parliament on various topics this morning, Prime Minister Abiy stated that coronavirus has not only brought challenges but also opportunities for growth in some economic sectors. He stated that though the country was expecting 9 percent economic growth this year, it is likely to decline by 3 to 6 percent because of the impacts of coronavirus.
He indicated that one of the contributing factors that has minimized the impact of COVID-19 on the economy this year is because the country has managed achieve most of its targets during the first eight months of its calendar year, which began July 8, 2019. Export of Ethiopia, which has been declining over the past few years has managed to grow by 13 percent, according to Prime Minister Abiy.
During the first eight months of the current fiscal year, which started July 8, 2019, the country has earned US$667M from coffee export, which is 16 percent up from the previous year same period. Meat and flower export has improved, according to Prime Minister Abiy. He stated that flower has generated US$440M, which is 84 percent up from previous year same period. Gold has also increased by 19 percent. A decline on fuel import, which used to consume huge amounts of hard currency, has also helped the economy to be resilient to coronavirus.
He also mentioned that the tourism sector has been badly hit by the global pandemic, while and remittance earnings of Ethiopia has also declined.
He also stated that the timely interventions by the government to combat coronavirus outbreak has helped the economy to be resilient to the pandemic.
Abiy, who admired the management of Ethiopian Airlines for their dynamic leadership, indicated that it has saved the country from injecting millions of dollars to save the aviation business. Because Ethiopian Airlines has focused on cargo flights, in the last three months Ethiopian Airlines has managed to cover its expenses by its own, which includes staff salaries, plane leasing fees and loans.
Abiy indicated that Ethiopian Airlines has covered 15 billion birr (about US$437M) expenses in the last three months on its own. Abiy expressed his hope that the ongoing government investments on developing tourist destinations will help the country to benefit from the sector post-COVID-19.
Prime Minister Abiy indicated that Ethiopian Airlines uninterrupted flight to China when the second biggest economy in the world was fighting the outbreak of the global pandemic, has made Ethiopian Airlines favourable by the Government of China. Abiy mentioned that now China has allowed Ethiopian Airlines to make 90 flights in a week from China to Brazil, Africa and Europe, has helped the state-owned aviation group to be resilient to COVID-19.
Source: New Business Ethiopia