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Ethiopia could be shoemaker to the world

April 5, 2013

huijian_factory_3“We are not coming all the way here just to reduce by 10%-20% our costs.… Our aim here is in 10 years’ time to have a new cluster of shoes making,” Ms Hai explains. “Definitely we want to build a whole supply chain … I want everything to be produced here.”

Last January, Huajian signed a memorandum of understanding with the China-Africa Development Fund, a private equity fund that facilitates Chinese investment on the continent, to jointly invest $2bn over a decade in creating a light-manufacturing special economic zone in Ethiopia.

The company has already leased 300ha of land in Lebu, on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital, where it plans to build a shoe city, with accommodation for 200,000 people and factory space for other manufacturers of footwear, handbags, accessories and components. Ms Hai expects construction to begin there later this year. Click here to read full text

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