DJIBOUTI AND THE CHINA QUESTION


Chinese President Xi Jinping and Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee
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    Written by: Meshack Masibo
    China has recently helped launch the first phase of Africa’s biggest free trade zone as what’s part of another major step to secure its position as a global trade leader. One of the biggest beneficiaries to this is the small country of Djibouti which is ironically more formally known as a military base for American troops. This added charcoal to the fire of suspicion as China continues with its streak of kindness and giving addictive loans to needy African countries.
    This is particularly because Djibouti is a one of a kind country in the region because of it’s geopolitical and strategic convenience to the United States. This almost invokes the thought that China might be trying to hit weigh under the belt with this latest move, which is part of a huge series of events that has seen China make many strategic economic investments in Africa. In July, Djibouti opened the first phase of the Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ), a $3.5 billion project that spans an area of 4,800 hectares. The $370 million, 240-hectare pilot zone consists of four industrial clusters which will focus on trade and logistics, export processing, business and financial support services, as well as manufacturing and duty-free merchandise retail. The opening of the zone also coincided with Djibouti’s hosting of the Africa-China Economic Forum, which brought together government officials and the private sector with the aim of promoting economic collaboration.
    Djibouti is the 191st largest export economy in the world. It has one of the hugest trade imbalances in the world in terms of percentage. For example, In 2016, Djibouti exported $63.1M and……Subscribe to Readmore………

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