(Yicai Global) July 6 -- Chinese-funded Djibouti International Free Trade Zone opened in northeastern Africa to stoke up economic growth in the region.
State-owned firm China Merchants Group and port operator Dalian Port Group helped to build the special economic area, government-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
The FTZ will bring benefits to the people of the country, which will not only increase employment opportunities but more importantly, introduce export processing industries, the country's President Ismail Omar Guelleh said at the opening ceremony.
Djibouti is a very important node in the overall layout of the Belt and Road initiative, China's Ambassador to Djibouti Fu Huaqiang said, adding that now more and more Chinese companies may come to Djibouti to invest and develop trade cooperation.
The 48-square kilometer special economic area started construction last year and more than 20 African and Chinese companies have signed a letter of intent to enter the country through it.
The zone will provide a platform for logistics, commerce and processing industries in the surrounding areas, which will help reduce costs, improve efficiency and strengthen regional integration, said Hu Jianhua, deputy general manager of the China Merchants Group.
Editor: Emmi Laine