Ethiopia Launches Construction of Gada Special Economic Zone with Free Trade Zone

Ethiopia has kicked off construction of the Gada Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in its Oromia region, marking a significant step towards boosting the country's industrial development. The project is being undertaken by Chinese construction giant, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

A Hub for Trade and Investment

The Gada SEZ will house the Lume Free Trade Zone, Ethiopia’s second after the Dire Dawa Free Trade Zone. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed highlighted the zone’s potential to contribute to the nation’s socio-economic progress.

“The Gada SEZ serves as a pivotal platform to replicate the successes of our agricultural sector in the industrial domain,” stated Prime Minister Abiy. “This unlocks the vast potential of our region and nation.”

The free trade zone is expected to create significant job opportunities for Ethiopia’s growing youth population and attract vital foreign direct investment. “The Lume Free Trade Zone will amplify opportunities for economic growth and development,” added Abiy.

Collaboration for Success

The project reflects a collaborative effort between Ethiopia and China. Dai Hegen, chairman of China Railway Construction Corporation (CCECC’s parent company), pledged to contribute advanced technology and management expertise.

“We will combine these with available local resources to build a comprehensive free trade zone that excels in manufacturing, trade, research and development,” said Dai Hegen.

Strategic Location and Vision

Situated just 65 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa, the Lume Free Trade Zone is strategically positioned to boost exports and establish a vital trade logistics center. Motuma Temesgen, director-general of Gada SEZ, emphasized the zone’s role in attracting foreign investment to Ethiopia.

The launch of the Gada SEZ with its integrated free trade zone represents a significant milestone for Ethiopia’s economic ambitions. By leveraging its strategic location, skilled workforce, and international collaboration, the project has the potential to become a major driver of the country’s industrial growth.

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