Ethiopian export soon to increase by $4 billion thanks to the Chinese giant; Huajian Group
A Chinese giant shoe maker by the name of Huajian Group, a Chinese shoe maker is set to build a manufacturing zone in Ethiopia that is projected to generate $4 billion/year in exports. According to Vice President Helen Hai said construction of the manufacturing plant is expected to start before june 2012 on a 320-hectare (791-acre) site in Lebu on the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa.
Huajian Group, based in Dongguan, Gaungdong province, produces about 20 million pairs of shoes a year for brands including Calvin Klein (6625B) and Guess, according to Hai. The Ethio-China Light Manufacturing Industrial Special Economic Zone will require $2 billion of investment over 10 years, according to Hai.
Cheaper labor costs, domestic supplies of leather and preferential access to European and U.S. markets are the primary attractions for investing in Ethiopia, she said. “Several million dollars” has already been invested in Hua Jian International Shoe City Plc in Dukem, which started producing shoes for the U.S. market. Huajian’s factory in Dukem which currently has equal amounts of Chinese and Ethiopians among its 500 workers produces 1,000 pairs of shoes a day.
The new zone near the capital will eventually employ 100,000 workers who will be given food, housing and schooling on site, according to Hai.
Better ties between Egypt and China
On March 21, 2012 Vice President Xi Jinping of China met with visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr in Beijing. The two officials agreed to boost the existing bilateral ties between the countries.
Stating that the diplomatic tie between the two nations dates back to 56 years ago, Xi emphasized that the relations between China and Egypt have withstood the test of a fluctuating international situation. According to him China is satisfied with the growth of China-Egypt relations. China will encourage its companies to invest in Egypt, promote the creation of the China-Egypt Suez economic and trade cooperation zone and cement bilateral cooperation in multiple areas.
Expressing China's support and aid to his country, Mohammed Amr hailed the remarkable achievements of Egypt-China cooperation over the years, adding that his government highly values its relations with China and hopes to boost the development of bilateral cooperation.
Chinese car maker; Foton embarking in East Africa
In an effort to explore the markets of the East Africa, Foton, the Chinese automaker has opened up an assembly plant in Nairobi.
The plant, which cost 50 million U.S. dollars, was officially opened Monday; March 26, 2012 by PrimeMinister Raila Odinga and a visiting Chinese delegation led by Liu Qi, a member of thePolitical Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
Urging manufacturers to produce cheaper cars that would enable more Kenyans to afford new vehicles PM Odinga said Keny embraces manufacturing as a means of restoring and strengthening the middle class. Odinga said the emerging competition in the motor vehicle assembly industry in Kenya was a sign of good times ahead with the coming of the East Africa Common market.
The assembly plant will make Foton Motor company more competitive because it will avoid paying a 25-percent duty on fully built imported units. Projected to supply at least 10,000 units to the region, the plant is expected to serve the growing market for pickups and light commercial vehicles.
Needless to say Foton will face competition from the deeply entrenched suppliers of the region including Toyota (East Africa), Cooper Motor Corporation (CMC), General Motors (GM), Simba Colt and DT Dobie.