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Itochu to support Ethiopian textile industry

Japanese trading house Itochu will provide support for Africa’s textile industry, starting with Ethiopia, which has emerged as an alternative production base to Asia. This will mark the first full-scale production by a Japanese company in the East-African country. Ethiopia’s low labor costs have prompted western brands such as Gap and H&M as well as Chinese and Indian apparel companies to make inroads here.

Itochu has signed an MoU with the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute on promoting the textile sector. The company will dispatch its own employees in addition to five outside Japanese experts to two factories in northern Ethiopia’s Tigre region. The plants will make apparels for export to Japan.

Itochu handles clothing manufacturing from spinning to sewing in such bases as Vietnam and Myanmar. The company aims to quintuple Ethiopian manufacturing efficiency in three years by reviewing productions steps and labor management