Trybus Group is expanding its supply chain footprint with a new factory in Ethiopia, adding to incoming investments in the textile and apparel production there.
The Texas-based menswear company, which produces brands like Q by Flynt and Steve Harvey, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ethiopian Investment Commission to set up a manufacturing center in the Kombolch Industrial Zone. The MoU was signed by Fisum Arega, commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, and Lixun Wang, Trybus Group VP and director general.
Located in the Amhara regional state, Kombolcha industrial park was introduced to the public on Jul. 12. Since opening, the $90 million facility has attracted apparel companies from Italy, South Korea and the U.S for its close proximity to Port Djibouti. The hub’s 75 hectares of land has 13 industrial sheds and is anticipated to create more than 15,000 jobs in the area.
As part of the MoU, Trybus Group will occupy a 5,500-sq. meter shed on the site and create employment for more than 1,500 Ethiopians during the first phase of operation. The company aims to hire more than 5,500 workers when its operations are in full swing.
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Ethiopian authorities also plan to carry out expansion projects on up to 1,000 hectares of land in the future. Industrial Parks Development Corporation of Ethiopia chairman Dr. Arkebe Oqubay also indicated that the park’s second phase will include other zones, such as Desie town. The region is also receiving more industrial hubs as well. Bahir Dar industrial park is set to be completed in April 2018, while Arerti and Debre Berhan industrial parks are set to be finished by June next year.
Ethiopia currently derives $150 million from textile and garment production annually, according to the Ethiopian Investment Commission, a number that could increase to more than $1 billion with increased investment in the sector. The government has plans for 10 industrial parks.
Ethiopia’s Hawassa eco-industrial park has attracted 18 global apparel and textile companies, including PVH Corp. Chinese construction firms have three additional parks underway, two of which—Bole Lemi II Industrial Park and Jimma Industrial Park—have been earmarked for textiles and apparel.
Amid the construction, the country is will need to grapple with its human rights and security to concerns in order for the region to fulfill its promise, according to Verisk Maplecroft. The risk management firm has identified land disputes, anti-government protests and child labor as recent and potential future issues in the country.
Ethiopia has been operating under a 10-month long state of emergency, which was only recently lifted.