To become a middle-income country by 2025, Ethiopia is strictly applying the second phase of its growth and development plan (GTPII) with Beijing’s unfailing support.

By Emeline Wuilbercq (Le Monde) |

HAWASSA (Worldcrunch)―Peter Wan is smiling from ear to ear. The 50-year-old walks past huge warehouses, where dozens of Ethiopians are busy working on spinning and thread-dyeing machines. “We are in the production test stage,” he says, at the Chinese factory of JP Textile at the entrance of the industrial park of Hawassa, some 270 kilometers south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

Soon, the labor force will transform the thread imported from China into cloth fabric, explains Wan. Then this fabric will be shaped into “Made in Ethiopia” shirts for brands such as Calvin Klein or Tommy Hilfiger, so they can be exported to wealthy customers in Europe and the United States. This park, which was built by the Chinese in just nine months, is officially operational. But it has not yet started to export garments.

The $260 million project is proof of the quick industrialization of Ethiopia. China, its first trade partner, is leading this process: whether it’s construction, transportation, or telecommunications, Beijing has invested in all sectors in this Horn of Africa country, the continent’s second most populous nation with nearly a 100 million inhabitants. China has also built a new railway between Addis Ababa and Djibouti.

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