Huajian has also signed an agreement with the China Africa Development Fund, a private equity fund owned by China Development Bank, to invest jointly $2bn over 10 years in developing manufacturing clusters focused on shoemaking in Ethiopia, Ms Hai told the Financial Times. This has potential, she said, to create 100,000 jobs.
“We want to use this as a platform to attract other players in the shoe industry to come here. Because, to be honest, if in five years’ time there’s only one shoe company, I think actually Huajian should leave Ethiopia,” she said, emphasising that to keep costs low in the long term the country needed to encourage subsidiary industries by building economies of scale.
Financial Times reports that Chinese shoe manufacturer Huajian is already expanding the shoe factory it build in Ethiopia a year ago. The factory is the first in its sector to start operations in Ethiopia, but according to the factory CEO, Huajian hopes to see its competitors follow soon.