The Chairman and President of Huajian Group, Zhang Huarong has stressed that security and a good environment are vital for investing in Africa. Huarong said this while hosting the China Africa Press Centre 2017 participants at the factory’s headquarters in Dongguan city, Guangdong, China.
Huarong suggests that Africa should provide best services and environment (infrastructure) for investors as security is a vital issue for both staff and property. The group will be willing to expand its business in Africa so long as it’s dealing genuinely. “If a country wants to develop, the government has to be very open,” he elaborated. Huajian Group hopes to expand investments by 2020.
Huajian Group is considered to be the largest ladies shoe manufacturer in the world. Zhang Huarong is currently the Chairman of Asia Footwear Association, and Chairman of World Footwear Headquarters Base.
The group’s export volume is about 80 million US dollars, with the Group’s main buyers located in the United States and Europe. The group has an annual turnover of about 300 million US dollars with a 5 percent profit. Its current investments in Africa is solely in Ethiopia. “Many have said that Africans cannot do manufacture at all,” Zhang said, “But Huajian opened a factory in Ethiopia and after 100 days began to produce for the US market.” The shoes manufactured in Huajian’s Ethiopian branch in Africa are labelled, ‘Made in Ethiopia.’
Quizzed on why only ladies footwear, the ex-military man responded that ladies shoes are high in demand among his customers. Huajian Group produces shoes for various top brands to include; Ivanka Trump, Nina, Vince Conoto among others.
“150 Ethiopians work here and are trained so they can return back to Ethiopia to work,” a staff of the factory, Ms Sherry explained, stating that over 60,000 employees have worked for the group over a period of six years. The group hopes to train annually 1000 to 2000 African employees on industrialisation, and functions of the shoe company, she said.