Chinese firm set to establish $1.5 billon shoe factory in Abia , says Governor Ikpeazu reports that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has hinted that a Chinese investor has agreed to set up a $ 1.5 billion shoe factory in Aba.

Okezie who disclosed this during a press conference yesterday in Umuahia on the outcome of his recent trip to China, allayed fears in some quarters that the move would lead to capital flight and cripple the existing indigenous shoe manufacturing firms in the state.

He explained that instead of forcing local shoe producers out of business, the move would engender competition and standardization of made- in Aba products.

Ikpeazu further said that 65 to 75 per cent of the shoes produced by the Chinese factory in Aba would be exported to other countries, a development that would improve the foreign exchange earnings of the state and the country.

He also said about 20,000 to 40,000 workers would be recruited  locally by the company under the supervision of about 200 staff from China, adding that the firm already has two per cent shoe supply to America which it is struggling to meet.

According to the elated Governor who described the deal as in the best economic interest of the state and the local shoe manufacturers in Aba, the Chinese investor has the highest shoe industry in China worth over $10 billion with branches in many countries including Ethiopia.

Ikpeazu urged  local shoe manufacturers to embrace the opportunity to perfect their skills and discountenance mischief makers who  peddle unfounded rumours that the move was injurious to their economic interest.

The Governor contended that the Chinse entrance into the shoe market in Aba would only throw up the challenge of competition with the local producers and ultimately make them to scale up the quality of their products.

He further argued that the decision of the state to throw its doors open to willing foreign investors stemmed from the fact that other states in the country could have also welcomed them " and Abia cannot stop it".

" It is better we allow them come to Abia than allow other states hijack them and we can't stop them", Ikpeazu argued.

The governor who said the state delegation to China also visited another factory which specializes in fabricating machines for shoe production, added that the company had also agreed to establish its branch in Aba.

He said the memorandum of understanding between the state and the affected firms would be signed in six weeks time.

He explained that the reason the State Government decided to go to China was because an earlier visit by shoe manufacturers from the state to Turkey to understudy modern trends in shoe making did not elicit friendly response from Turkey.

Ikpeazu said that "Turkey refused to show us their secrets and was only interested in selling their finished products to us, so, we decided to leave them and go to China.

" I believe that Turkey's refusal to take us to where they make their shoes was part of the conspiracy of the West to under-develop Africa", Ikpeazu fumed, adding that " we are prepared and ready to compete with China."

Chinese firm set to establish $1.5 billon shoe factory in Abia , says Governor Ikpeazu Chinese firm set to establish $1.5 billon shoe factory in Abia , says Governor Ikpeazu Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Monday, April 24, 2017 Rating: 5

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