Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa) / By Seble Wondemagegn
Nasa Garment Plc has become the first local firm from Hawassa Industrial Park, the nation’s flagship park, to export its products to Canada.
Founded in 2019, Nasa Garment exported a 20-foot equivalent unit container that carried 21,000 units of clothing including shirts, trousers, activewear and sweaters on April 8, 2020, to Canada, which offers duty-free privileges for Ethiopia’s products. The plant manufactured the garments at its plant that rests on 5,500Sqm of land rented in the Park.
The company, which is owned by Saron and Goitom Afework, has the production capacity to make 30,000 pieces of clothing a day with its 30 production lines. Nasa employs 340 people, but it is expected to hire 2,100 people when it becomes fully operational. Nasa, which started production in January 2020, will ship its products weekly to Canada.
Founded in 2019, Nasa Garment exported a 20-foot equivalent unit container that carried 21,000 units of clothing including shirts, trousers, active wear and sweaters on April 8, 2020, to Canada, which offers duty-free privileges for Ethiopia’s products.
“We congratulate the company on this great milestone,” tweeted Abebe Abebayehu, commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission.
The company plans to earn 1.5 million dollars from exports this year and expects to earn seven million dollars next year, according to Raghavendra Pattar, Group CEO of the company.
During the past eight months of this fiscal year, the textile and garment industry in the country generated 129 million dollars from exports, a 32pc increase over the same period last year. The volume also registered a 4,100tn increase from the preceding year.
Nasa, which was established with a five-million-dollar investment, is preparing to venture into the second phase of investment at Bole Lemi Industrial Park. Expected to cost 11 million dollars, the plant is planned to be fully operational in 2022. The company has already received 1,200Sqm of land in the Park and plans to construct its facility after the COVID-19 situation changes.
The second plant will manufacture denim with 7,000 employees and intends for the Primark and OneTeaspoon brands to be its customers, according to Saron Afework, chairperson of the Nasa Group.
Hawassa Industrial Park, which houses a total of 23 companies currently in operation, sends over 90pc of its exports to the United States and Europe. The Park, which hosts three local and 19 international textile and garment companies, was constructed by the state-owned Industrial Parks Development Corporation for an estimated cost of 30 billion Br. Hawassa is one of seven fully operational industrial parks in the country, which employ a total of 65,000 people.
Last week about half of the companies in the Park, which has 35,000 direct employees, stopped production due to a widespread slowdown in the global economy after the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). These companies also gave up to three weeks paid annual leave to their employees.
Atlaw Alemu (PhD), a lecturer at Addis Abeba University’s Faculty of Business & Economics, appreciates the company making the shipment in the midst of the current situation.
“Exporting during the current situation is difficult,” said Atlaw. “The company did well, and it is a demonstration that any company can safely export in the current pandemic. Nasa will create great inspiration for local investors across the country.”
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