Roundup: Ethiopia hopes to boost foreign trade with Chinese-built trackless station within industrial park

2021-05-05 15:31:07 GMT2021-05-05 23:31:07(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ADDIS ABABA, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia on Wednesday inaugurated its first trackless station in a bid to boost the country's foreign trade efforts.

The trackless station was inaugurated at a ceremony held in the Chinese-built Eastern Industrial Zone (EIZ) in Dukem city, 37 km southeast of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

Trackless station refers to an office or agency of the railway, which operates in the area far away from the railway station to facilitate the transportation of goods. With the help of trackless station, factories or companies can directly transport the freight from industrial parks to railway station.

Yehulashet Jemere, State Minister of Ethiopia's Ministry of Transport, said the inauguration of the first trackless station of the Chinese-built 752.7-km Ethiopia-Djibouti electrified rail line is an important milestone in the east African country's quest to modernize its logistics sector.

"The first trackless station in Eastern Industrial Zone is one big milestone to enable the railway line to provide a multimodal transport service for the industry zone. I believe this will effectively reduce the logistics cost of the enterprises who are residing in the industrial zones," said Jemere.

The Eastern Industry Zone inaugurated a decade ago is Ethiopia's first industry zone that inspired the Ethiopian government towards establishing more industry parks across the country towards becoming the manufacturing hub of the continent.

"It's difficult to imagine rapid economic development, industrialization and international competitiveness without efficient high quality modern transport infrastructure and logistics services," Jemere said.

The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway to which the trackless station will be connected has shown China is dedicated to providing state of the arts logistics infrastructure to Ethiopia, said Jemere.

"This railway line is a flagship project for the blossoming Ethiopia-China cooperation, among other things Chinese technical competence and financial support have powered the realization of this ambitious infrastructure project," Jemere stated.

Sandokan Debebe, CEO of Ethiopia Industrial Park Development Corporation (IPDC), said the inauguration of the trackless station will also help in the speedy transportation of export-oriented industrial park products.

"Transportation and logistics, being the backbone of the manufacturing industry, has been placed at the core of the country's economic transformation agenda," said Debebe.

"The manufacturing sector is expected to register a sectoral growth of 20 plus percent, sectoral composition to the GDP to be 17 plus percent and creation of 1.3 million jobs every year," Debebe further said.

Guo Chongfeng, General Manager of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Ethiopia, said the trackless station of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway will add further logistical boost to Ethiopia's export-oriented manufacturing sector.

"Under the leadership of the Ethiopia Ministry of Transport, the professional management of Ethiopia Djibouti Railway (EDR), Industry Park Development Corporation (IPDC), Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC), and the closer cooperation with Eastern Industrial Park, we believe the railway will become a household name for an economic engine and foreign exchange powerhouse," Guo said.

"We believe the railway will become a hotspot of investment and attract more and more clients and investors, as well as cultivate an economic corridor and facilitate Ethiopia to be a trade powerhouse in Africa," Guo further said. Enditem