Leather Shoes and Leather Products

  • One of the largest shoe exporters in China – Huajian – set up a factory in Ethiopia in 2011, as part of a plan to invest US$2 billion over 10 years in developing manufacturing clusters focused on shoemaking for export. The company produces shoes for brands such as Guess and Calvin Klein, and hopes to see its exports from Ethiopia reach US$4 billion within ten years. Source: Deloitte, “Ethiopia, a Growth Miracle,” 2014; Centre for Economic Policy Research, “PEDL Research Note: The Role of Foreign Investment in Ethiopia’s Leather Value Chain”, 2013
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Key Reasons for Investing

  • Among Ethiopia’s abundant resources is a large cattle population whose skins and hides are the basis for some of the world’s best leather.
  • Since 1992, over 40 international investors have established leather and leather product companies in Ethiopia supplying to some of the most important international brands such as Guess and Clavin Klein.
  • Average Ethiopian salaries in leather factories are only US$35 per month, which is about ten times as low as those of Chinese workers.
  • Exports of leather, which were practically non-existent in 2003, were worth US$23 million in 2012.
  • Italy’s total imports from Ethiopia rose by 82% over the course of 6 years, from US$21.7 million in 2005 to US$39.4 million in 2011; while China’s rose 120% in the same period, from US$12.5 million in 2005 to US$27.5 million in 2011. The United Kingdom and India rank third and fourth, respectively, as destinations for Ethiopian processed leather.

Sources: Centre for Economic Policy Research, “PDL Research Note: The Role of Foreign Investment in Ethiopia’s Leather Value Chain”, 2013; IFPRI, “The Role of Foreign Investment in Ethiopia’s Leather Value Chain: Lessons for Ghana”, 2012; Deloitte, “Ethiopia, a Growth Miracle,” 2014; EIC database of licensed projects.

Investment Opportunities

  • Tanning of hides and skins up to finished level;
  • Manufacturing of luggage (such as handbags), saddle and harness items, footwear, and garments; and
  • Integrated tanning and manufacturing activities.

Sources: African Economic Outlook, 2014; Deloitte, “Ethiopia, a Growth Miracle,” 2014; Centre for Economic Policy Research, “PDL Research Note: The Role of Foreign Investment in Ethiopia’s Leather Value Chain”, 2013; Leather International, “Japanese manufacturer in Ethiopia”, February 4, Leather International, “Japanese manufacturer in Ethiopia”, 5 February 2014.

Useful Links

  • Otto Kessler, a German company specializing in the production of top quality leather gloves for fashion brands, department store chains, select catalogue companies, and military & police authorities in Europe, North America, and Japan established a leather processing plant in Gondar, within the Amhara Region.
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Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations

Addis Ababa
P.O. Box 517
Tel: 251-11-551 8240
Fax: 251-11-551 7699
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.ethiopianchamber.com

Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations

  • The Japanese manufacturer Hiroki Co. Ltd is setting up a US$400,000 manufacturing operation in Ethiopia, where it will produce shoes and other luxury accessories made from leather. Hiroki is already training Ethiopian workers at its Chinese plant, and has brought experts from Japan to train the rest of the staff in Ethiopia. "We decided to open a factory in Ethiopia because of the availability of quality leather raw material," said Youngil Song, president of Hiroki Addis. "It is one of the finest leather in the world." Source: Leather International, “Japanese manufacturer in Ethiopia”, 5 February 2014; Deloitte, “Ethiopia, a Growth Miracle,” 2014
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P.O. Box 2458
Tel: 251-11-552 8120
Fax: 251-11-551 1479
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.addischamber.com

Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA)

P.O. Box 12898
Tel: +251-11-515 6144
Fax: +251-11-550 8935
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.elia-aalf.com

Leather Industry Development Institute

  • Hong Kong’s New Wing Group is a smaller firm producing women’s shoes for American and European markets. New Wing sources most of its leather from Ethiopia and plans to establish its own tannery for refining processing. Source: Centre for Economic Policy Research, “PEDL Research Note: The Role of Foreign Investment in Ethiopia’s Leather Value Chain”, 2013
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Debrezeit Road - Addis Ababa
Tel. : +251-114 39 16 82
Fax : +251-11 439 22 59
www.elidi.org