Monday, February 18, 2013

Ethiopian Military-Run Corporation Seeks More Foreign Partners

(Feb 18, 2013, Bloomberg)--Metals & Engineering Corp., an Ethiopian military-run corporation, said it plans to partner with more foreign companies as it spearheads a government-drive to develop industries in Africa’s second-most populous nation.

METEC, as it’s known, is already working with companies including Alstom SA, Europe’s second-largest power-equipment maker, U.S.-based solar-panel manufacturer Spire Corp. and China Poly Group Corp. on engineering and manufacturing projects. Some of the company’s budding industries, like vehicle-assembly and engineering businesses, may generate more than 20 billion birr ($1.1 billion) of revenue a year, spokesman Michael Desta said in an interview.

“We’re doing this in collaboration” with foreign companies, he said on Feb. 15 in the capital, Addis Ababa. “We want to learn from them.” Ethiopia is using one of Africa’s largest armies to help develop an economy that grew an average 8.7 over the past five years, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The country operates a state-led development model that targets public and private investment in value-adding industries in order to diversify an economy in which agriculture accounts for 46 percent of total output.

The government is in the midst of a five-year plan in which it’s spending 569 billion birr until 2015 on projects including the $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which would be the site of Africa’s biggest hydropower plant. Read more from Bloomberg »

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