More Chinese companies are showing an interest in investing in the east African country Ethiopia as it is striving to become the manufacturing hub of Africa. According to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), Chinese company, the Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Mill, part of the Guolian Development Group and one of the largest textile manufacturers in China will be soon establishing its presence in Ethiopia.
As part of the investment agreement, which was signed in Wuxi city in China on Nov 2 between the EIC and officials of the company, the Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Mill has agreed to invest in a large scale and integrated fabric mill and spinning plant in Dire Dawa, Ethiopiaâ€™s second largest city, some 446 km east of Ethiopiaâ€™s capital Addis Ababa, targeting the export market.
The EIC indicated that the Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Mill and the Guolian Development Group will bring state-of-the art manufacturing technology, knowhow and excellence accumulated over a span of 100 years to Ethiopia.
The company currently has a weaving capacity of 26,000 tons of yarns and 30 million meters of gray fabrics yearly, the EIC expects Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Investment Company to play a big role in Ethiopia's ambition in putting its export industry in the map.
The Ethiopian government also envisages that high profile companies, such as Wuxi No.1 Cotton Mill which is said to be known for supplying leading global brands where 75 percent of its products are mainly exported to Europe, America, Japan, and Southeast Asia, will help push Ethiopia to be the leading player in Africa's apparel and textile manufacturing sector.
According to the EIC, Chinese companies, with close to 379 projects that were either operational or under implementation in 2012-2017 period, are on top of Ethiopia's investment landscape, both in number and financial capital.
Among these companies, 279 were operational in Ethiopia with projects that worth over 13.16 billion Ethiopian birr (over $572 million) during the reported period, while the remaining 100 are under implementation.
Chinese companies have created more than 28,300 jobs in various sectors in Ethiopia during the reported period, of which over 19,000 were created in Ethiopia's manufacturing as it is the leading sector in attracting companies from China.
Abebe Abebayehu, Deputy Commissioner of the EIC, believes the arrival of such investors in the country will help Ethiopia realize its target as this investment would contribute immensely to their government's vision to build a sustainable, vertically integrated and export-oriented, apparel and textile manufacturing hub in Ethiopia. Indeed, their vision is to make Ethiopia the leading manufacturing hub in Africa.
According to the EIC, this investment is expected to create significant backward and forward linkages in the country's fast growing textile and garment industry, in addition to creating direct employment opportunities and boosting Ethiopia's foreign exchange reserves through exports.
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