Ethiopia: Chinese fund to embark on multi billion dollar investment

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China Africa Development Fund (CADFund), which officially opened its Addis Ababa Representative Office a week a go, is considering investing in three projects in Ethiopia.

The three new projects under appraisal, according to Yong Wang, Chief Representative of CADFund’s Addis Ababa Office, include: Investing in a Chinese industrial zone, establishing a huge food processing company, and expanding LIFAN Motors Company.

“The industrial zone project has three phases: one is the infrastructure project, the second is a steel factory, and the other is attracting other Chinese factories to join this industrial zone,” Wang explained.

If the new projects are approved, the fund’s investments in Ethiopia will total seven.

The Government of Ethiopia has awarded five thousand square kilometres of land to one Chinese company for the construction of a five billion dollar industrial zone.

The CADFund joint investment bid, if successful, is expected to ease the financing and help realise the zone’s intention of hosting 80 Chinese textile, leather and metal companies, according to information obtained from the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Ethiopia.

“We are now making a feasibility study, then we will request a plot from the government,” says Wang.

The food processing company is the second biggest project.

YANGFAN Motors, better known as Lifan, which split a year ago from its local partner, Holland Car Assembly, is the third project.

“LIFAN has got an expansion area from the government and we are now pondering whether to invest three million dollars in it,” the chief representative revealed.

Chinese car manufacturer, LIFAN Motors showcased its first production LIFAN520 in a ceremony on Wednesday, February 24 a year after terminating its partnership with Holland Car Plc.

LIFAN Motors and the Ethiopian vehicle assembling firm had for three years been putting together a car known as Abay, which is named after the Amharic name for the Blue Nile.

LIFAN, in collaboration with CADFund, is planning a 10 million dollar expansion aiming to upgrade its stores, factory and service stations, and achieve its objective of 1,000 automobiles per year as well as employing 106 people in its first year of operation. Its second target is to assemble 2,000 cars per year by 2012.

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