Huajian Group, a Chinese footwear company, revealed its plans to expand its investment in Ethiopia and establish the country as a major manufacturing hub in Eastern Africa.
Huajian Group began investing in Ethiopia in 2011 and has since created 12,000 jobs. According to HuaRong Zhang who is the Founder and Chairman of Huajian Group, the company had had a total investment of USD 150 million and generated USD 200 million in revenue before the COVID-19 Pandemic. The company resumed operations in March 2023 after the pandemic with the support of the Ethiopian government. Currently, the company is producing shoes, including sport shoes, for local consumption and receiving production orders from the military and federal police. The workshop currently employs 2,000 people.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the termination of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Huajian Group made 100% export sales. Due to the cancellation of AGOA, however, Huajian has lost orders and is now focusing on the domestic market to provide jobs for its staff and management training. The CEO expressed his hope that AGOA would resume, allowing the company to restart its export sales.
The company called the Ethiopian government to be more open and supportive of investors and to enable exports to the US. Huajian Group is currently constructing the Huajian International Light Industry City near Addis Ababa, which is expected to produce footwear and apparel in large volumes over the next five years. The project is expected to create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs and generate foreign exchange earnings of USD 1.5 billion.
Source (including image): Ethiopian News Agency