Hop Lun, a Hong Kong, China based firm has exited Bahir Dar Industrial Park (BDIP) after incurring losses as a result of Ethiopia’s suspension from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Addis Ababa based private broadsheet newspaper Ethiopianreporter disclosed on Saturday.
AGOA launched in 2000, is a free trade pact that allows duty free export access to the U.S. market to products from Sub-Saharan African countries. The administration of U.S. President John Biden suspended Ethiopia from the program in December 2021, citing allegations of gross human rights abuses in the northern Ethiopia war.
Despite, the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signing a shaky peace agreement in November 2022, the U.S. government hasn’t given any indications so far it plans to reinstate Ethiopia’s AGOA privileges in 2023.
Ethiopianreporter disclosed Hop Lun had leased eight industrial sheds in BDIP four years ago, with four of the eight sheds being converted into production facilities. The firm had immediately started sending all of its finished goods to the US market. Hop Lun’s exit has reportedly led to direct job loss of around 1,000 Ethiopians.
According to EthiopianReporter, BDIP lying on 150 hectares of land was built two years ago at a cost of 81 million U.S. dollars.