Making shoes for the world in Ethiopia ?

An article in the Economist (June 9, 2012) describes demand for $2 shoes in Ethiopia, as protection against injuries, worms etc that affect bare feet. The population of Ethiopia is expect to double by 2040, chronic hunger impacts fewer Ethiopians and leather is plentiful thanks to a large livestock population. Labor costs are low and handicraft is a generations old skill. So a Chinese company, Huajian Shoes, expects to invest $2 billion to make shoes for a global market. Will poor infrastructure prevent Ethiopia from producing for the world ? Can a focus on Ethiopian traditional craft capability justify it as a global source of vegan friendly shoes ? Does the growing domestic market justify the country as production site, along with its low wages, lower than China ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
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