Industrial production in Eritrea is limited after decades of war. The existing manufacturing industry manufactures lighter products such as salt, glass, leather goods, shoes, textiles, food and beverages.
In the mid-1990s, shortly after independence, privatization of the industrial sector began to revitalize it. But the recovery has been weak due to electricity shortages, obsolete equipment, ruined infrastructure and a shortage of trained labor.
The government has tight control over the economy and society as a whole, which discourages investors. Eritrea is near the bottom of the world in the rankings of how easy it is to do business.
Marble processing and recycling of plastics and metals are newer industrial branches that have been added. In 2015, a factory began exporting canned beer to South Sudan, and 2018 to Sweden.
Economic free zones have also been established, where companies are exempted from export and import taxes. It is unclear how many foreign companies have established themselves in the zones.
Eritrea in quarantine
The Eritrean government orders citizens not to leave their homes, thus quarantining the entire population. The measure is an attempt to slow the spread of the new corona virus, which has caused a pandemic. Eritrea reported its first confirmed case of coronas infection on March 21 and has since banned all commercial flights, closed all schools and reduced public communications to a minimum. When the country is quarantined, 18 cases of coronary infection have been documented in the country, one of which cannot be traced to visits abroad. Necessary business and necessary production are continuing. These include food and medicines.
US facing entry restrictions
US President Donald Trump imposes restrictions on entry into the United States for nationals from six countries: Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania. In the past, Trump has done the same for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea as well as Venezuelan political officials. The decision, according to US authorities, is because these countries have been unwilling or unable to follow certain basic rules for, among other things, identity control, information exchange and public safety. The rules begin to apply on February 22 and the focus is on people who want to settle in the US, not just visit the country.