Africa-Press – Ethiopia. The joint Chinese-Japanese metal industry, Woda Metal Industry Plc., said that it plans to move a manufacturing center from China and supply products to Ethiopia and neighboring countries.
Woda Metal Industry, which entered the Ethiopian market in 2016, has started production of towers and cables for domestic market last year.
Its main products are steel tower and aluminum conductor cable as well as a facility for galvanization, which is the biggest in East Africa, Woda General Manager Steven Cui said.
The company has over 15 years tower manufacturing experience and is a global supplier to world-class telecom and power operators, it was learned.
In Ethiopia, the company has already invested around 32 million USD for building its own industrial park that will be completed with a capital of 95 million USD.
Upon going fully operational “we can save over 200 million USD for this country because we only import some raw materials. We are exporting today from China to the surrounding countries. So we can bring or manufacture here in Ethiopia and generate foreign currency. This is our plan.”
According to Cui, a lot of his friends want to invest in the same area.
“The market is very big and we want to invest more by ourselves, and also we want to bring more investment from other investor groups. So this is our motivation to build this industrial park.”
The general manager stated that the market is attractive not only for steel towers and cables, but also for other products like smart device, electrical vehicles, tracking systems, battery and the tire business.
The first reason, we came here is you have 120 million population and that also means the market is full of very young energetic working force, he noted, adding that this is one big potential.
“We promised to export at least 30 percent of our products. We are actually now exporting from the headquarters in China to Ethiopia, Kenya and to the whole east African countries. The reason we started from local is because this country needs products like tower and cable and imports 100 percent, before we start our production. That is very much cutting foreign currency from this country. So, first we have to stop that bleeding foreign currency.”
Commenting on the investment environment in the country, Cui said there is a lot of negative news on the internet. “However, I want to send the message to the investors to come and look.”
Noting that there are also challenges like everywhere, not only in Africa and not only in Ethiopia but also in the US and in Europe and everywhere; “I think if we choose the right path, the right direction, the right project, this country can be a very good place for investment.”
The general manager stressed that “we believe the next booming market will be right here” in Ethiopia.