Chinese-built railway boosts Ethiopia's import-export trade: official

  • World
  • Wednesday, 22 May 2024

ADDIS ABABA, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese-built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway has significantly reduced logistics time and costs, boosting Ethiopia's import and export trade, according to the Ethio-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Share Company (EDR).

Abdi Zenebe, chief executive officer of the EDR, said the 752-km railway is fast becoming Ethiopia's preferred route for imports and exports, as reported by the state-run Ethiopian News Agency on Tuesday. Currently, more than 15 percent of Ethiopia's overall import and export trade is conducted via this railway.

Zenebe said the railway is particularly effective in streamlining the transportation of Ethiopia's major export commodities, such as coffee. He noted that 98 percent of Ethiopia's entire coffee export, a cornerstone of the country's agriculture-led economy, now passes through the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway.

Recent data from the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority show that Ethiopia exported 174,596 tons of coffee to the international market during the first nine months of the current Ethiopian fiscal year (2023/2024), which began on July 8, generating over 835 million U.S. dollars in revenue.

Zenebe also mentioned that the railway will soon begin transporting mining products, mainly coal and cement.

Official data reveal that the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway has transported 680,000 passengers and 9.5 million tons of cargo, with an average annual transportation revenue increase of 39 percent over the past six years. Since 2018, the railway has continued to develop its freight market and expand its service offerings, including high-quality services such as cold-chain transportation, commuter trains for villagers, and special trains for automobile transportation, among others.

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