Chinese city to invest $500m in Ethiopian town’s industrial park

Investors from the Chinese city of Kunshan are planning to invest $500m in a textile production complex in the eastern Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa.

Mayor of Kunshan, Du Xiaogang, announced the plan after visiting the town near the border with Djibouti.
Du said investors were ready and work would start in the next two years.

He said China was ready to share its manufacturing expertise with Ethiopians "in order to make industrial parks in the country more productive and successful", reports New Business Ethiopia.

About 30 Ethiopian professionals are now on a 10-day training course on industrial park management at a college built in Dire Dawa, the report said.

Kunshan is a county-level city in southeastern Jiangsu province, west of Shanghai.

Lelise Neme, chief executive of the Ethiopia Industrial Parks Development Corporation, said investment from Kunshan would create jobs and foster university-industry links.

There are currently around 23 industrial parks in Ethiopia; the government aims to have 30 completed by 2025 as part of its drive to base the country’s economic development on low-cost manufacturing.

In October last year, Ethiopia announced plans to build other textile-based parks in Aysha and Semera, also near the Djibouti border, and Assosa, next to the Sudanese border (see Further reading).

Image: Room for growth: downtown Dire Dawa (Soman/CC BY-SA 3.0) 

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