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Global Value Chains, Industrial Policy, and Sustainable Development – Ethiopia’s Apparel Export Sector

Case Study / International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)

Cornelia Staritz / Leonhard Plank / Mike Morris

November 2016

The apparel sector has traditionally been a gateway to structural transformation, industrialisation, export diversification, and sustainable development for low-income countries. The Ethiopian government regards this sector as a key priority in driving the country’s industrial development strategy. Ethiopia is an exporting latecomer compared to other sub-Saharan African apparel exporters. But recent export growth has been impressive with Ethiopia being hyped as a “rising star” for apparel sourcing. This country case study, based on a methodology developed by ICTSD, assesses the achievements and challenges manifested in growing the Ethiopian apparel sector, the government’s active industrial policy strategy to develop the sector, and its implications for industrial and sustainable development.

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