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China-funded Djibouti Free Trade Zone starts construction
   2017-01-18 17:00:51    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Jing

Location of Djibouti [Photo: sina.com.cn]

Construction on the China-funded Djibouti Free Trade Zone started on Monday, reported Global Times. The Zone covers an area of 48 square kilometers.

The project will be operated by a joint venture invested by Chinese enterprises including China Merchants Holdings, Dalian Port Corporation Limited as well as the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority. The initial investment for the project is around 340 million US dollars.

The first phase of the Zone is expected to open by the end of this year.

A Reuters report cited Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority, saying "the new free zone will be the country's first employment reservoir, with more than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs created."

In recent years, Djibouti has seen steady annual growth of six to eight percent in volume of freight, according to the Global Times. Now it is the busiest port in the Red Sea Region.

After it's put in operation, the Djibouti FTZ will become a crucial junction linking other African countries involved in China's "Belt and Road" initiative, and make the small northeast African country a marine logistics hub linking Africa, Asia and Europe.

The Chinese-built Addis Ababa¨CDjibouti Railway is under construction. [Photo: Xinhua]

China and Djibouti have upgraded bilateral cooperation in many fields. Construction on China's first overseas logistics supply facilities started in the African country at the beginning of 2016. The Chinese-built Addis Ababa¨CDjibouti Railway, currently under construction, will reduce travel time between the two cities from two-or-three days down to only 10 hours. Djibouti is also home to China's first overseas commercial bank-- Silk Road International Bank.

 

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