By spending over $500 million investors from Kunshan, a city in Jiangsu province of China, are set to build an industrial park in Dire Dawa city of eastern part of Ethiopia.
The park will be dedicated to textiles manufacturing, according to a delegation led by Du Xiaogang, Mayor of Kunshan, who visited Dire Dawa yesterday. Over the past years, including Eastern, Jimma and Arerti Industrial parks, Chinese investors have been expanding ownership of industrial parks in Ethiopia.
Speaking after the visit, the Mayor said investors from the city have finalized preparations to establish a textile industrial park within the coming two years, according to FBC, Ethiopia’s ruling party affiliate media report. Mayor of Kunshan stated that the new investment testifies the strong bilateral ties between Ethiopia and China.
China is ready to share its experience to Ethiopia in order to make industrial parks in the country more productive and successful, he said. About 30 professionals drawn from all industrial parks are currently receiving a 10-day training on industrial park management at a training center built in Dire Dawa.
Kedir Juhar, head of Dire Dawa trade, industry and investment bureau, said the city administration would provide all needed support for the establishment of the industrial park.
Lelise Neme, CEO of the Ethiopia Industrial Parks Development Corporation said investment from Kunshan would help to foster university-industry linkage, besides creating employment opportunities.
The report also stated that Lelise also invited Kunshan investors to invest more in Ethiopia. Dire Dawa and Kunshan are expected to sign a sister city agreement next month.
In his Parliament address Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday stated that his government is working to privatize industrial parks as part of its economic reform, which involves partial privatization of major state-owned enterprises and infrastructures, including power stations, telecom and Ethiopian Airlines, among others.
Reports show that including those under construction by the government and the private sector, there are currently around 23 industrial parks in Ethiopia.