ADDIS ABABA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese companies are constructing five industrial zones in Ethiopia as the African nation strives to become the continent's manufacturing hub.
The statement made on Tuesday by Fitsum Arega, Commissioner at Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), said among the five zones is Ethiopia's first industrial park, the Eastern Industrial Zone, 37 km south of Addis Ababa.
The park, despite having 66 projects operational on 40 hectares of land, is still under construction on 167 hectares of additional land.
Others are the Huajian Industrial Park in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, developed by Huajian Group; the Arerti Industrial Zone northeast of Addis Ababa being developed by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC); the Dire Dawa Industrial Park east of Addis Ababa being constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) and the Modjo Industrial Park being built by Taiwanese firm George Shoe Company.
Arega said among the five, Arerti is different from "others being developed for textile and apparel sector as the industrial zone is expected to focus hosting companies engaged in producing construction materials".
Ethiopia, while witnessing a massive infrastructure boom, is struggling to cope with the cost of imported materials. It has hoped Arerti will act as an import substitution mechanism and save Ethiopia much-needed hard currency.