Huajian, a China-based shoe manufacturer with brands Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Naturalizer and Clarks, intends to expand its presence in Africa. A year ago, Huajian opened a plant in Ethiopia's industrial area on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, deciding to take advantage of preferential trade rates and cheap labor.
Helen Hai, head of the Huajian overseas investment division, told the Financial Times that the company plans to expand its presence in Ethiopia. She signed an agreement with the China Africa Development Fund, a private equity fund, to jointly invest 2 billion dollars over 10 years in shoe manufacturing. According to forecasts, in Ethiopia, you can create 100 000 jobs.
"We want to bring other footwear players to Ethiopia. To be honest, Huajian will have to leave this country if other companies don't come here within five years," Hai told FT. So far, the plant in Ethiopia employs 1750 people. There are 25 employees in mainland China.