Djibouti port, a strategically important nation located between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, could be transformed into the ‘next Shenzhen’, according to Li Xiaopeng, president of China Merchants Group.
Speaking with state-run media China Daily, Li said the African port, in which China Merchants first invested five years ago, could replicate the success of Shenzhen’s Shekou Industrial Zone. Shekou is to the west of Shenzhen and is China Merchants’ strongest base for port operations in southern China.
“Making full use of Djibouti’s geographical advantages, we are in the process of making the country the Shekou of East Africa－a hub for regional shipping, logistics and trade,” Li said.
China Merchants is pumping another $400m into Djibouti to develop a 48 sq km free trade zone.