New rail line and young workforce set the stage for industrial development

MASANORI TOBITA, Nikkei staff writer

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia The East African country of Ethiopia is fast developing into a dynamic apparel-sourcing hub, as low labor costs draw in international clothing makers.

Manufacturers from China, South Korea, India and other countries have opened new plants in the nation, while a growing number of European and U.S. brands are sourcing garments there.

One reason for Ethiopia’s emergence on the clothing scene is the opening of a railway line to a port in neighboring Djibouti, located on the Horn of Africa on the Gulf of Aden. The railway speeds the transport of goods from the landlocked country’s industrial areas, such as the Bole Lemi Industrial Park, an hour’s drive from the capital, Addis Ababa.