Investors from the Chinese city of Kunshan are planning to invest $500m in a textile production complex in the eastern Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa.

Mayor of Kunshan, Du Xiaogang, announced the plan after visiting the town near the border with Djibouti. Du said investors were ready and work would start in the next two years. He said China was ready to share its manufacturing expertise with Ethiopians “in order to make industrial parks in the country more productive and successful”, reports New Business Ethiopia.

There are currently around 23 industrial parks in Ethiopia; the government aims to have 30 completed by 2025 as part of its drive to base the country’s economic development on low-cost manufacturing.

In October last year, Ethiopia announced plans to build other textile-based parks in Aysha and Semera, also near the Djibouti border, and Assosa, next to the Sudanese border.