Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said despite facing various local and international challenges, the overall economic performance of the nation has been promising.
Presenting a six-month government report to the House of People’s Representatives yesterday, Hailemariam said the El Niño induced drought has affected the Ethiopian economy, particularly the agriculture sector.
The Premier noted that though the final pace of the national economic growth is predicted by the end of the budget year, it won't be early to forecast the result from the performances so far in the agriculture, industry and service sectors.
Therefore, he indicated that the industry and service sectors are expected to show a growth of 20.6 % and 10.2% respectively. “This year's economic growth will also be expected to make up the decline seen last year.”
According to Hailemariam, the average economic growth during GTP I was 10.1%. The previous fiscal year's growth was projected to be 11% on average, but the actual growth was 8 %.
The agricultural sector used to grow 7% on average for successive years. But, it dropped to 2.3% last year.
The gross macro-economic growth during the second year of GTP-II has been unprecedented as the agriculture grows by 9% while manufacturing and construction sectors registered a growth of 18.4 % and 25% respectively, Hailemariam disclosed.
Speaking about efforts in withstanding the current drought seen in some parts of the country, the premier stated that the Ethiopian government has created strong resilience to confront droughts and other natural disasters.
Moreover, IGAD member states are working in collaboration and consultation with one another to tackle the dreadful drought broken out in the Horn region, he said.
At the event , the premier noted that using various fiscal and monetary policy measures, the country has managed to keep single digit inflation rate.
Regarding export performance, Hailemariam said it has shown a 4.2 % decline compared to the same period last year.
He cited price falls in the global agricultural products , the overvalue of Birr against international currencies and decline of interests in the country's agricultural production as the factors associated with export glitch.
''From now on the government will encourage local factories to export their products lifting the previous restriction.''
According to him, Ethiopia has been working to consolidate its diplomatic relations to with its neighbors in particular and in the sub-region in general.
‘‘We have been striving tirelessly to sustain peace and security in our region and beyond. Thus, the relations with neighboring countries like Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia is growing more than ever before,’’ Hailemariam reiterated.
He pointed out that Ethiopia would broaden its diplomatic base with other African countries playing active role in IGAD and the African Union.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS