Africa could be the next investment destination for U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, after the Chinese company that supplies footwear for his daughter Ivanka’s shoe collection announced that they are planning to move their operations to Ethiopia, according to Quartz. Zhang Huarong, the CEO of Huajian Group, announced last week that the company could soon relocate its production to Ethiopia in search of cheaper labor.
“My goal is to create 30,000 jobs in Ethiopia by 2020, with exports reaching $1 billion to $1.5 billion,” Huarong told AFP.
The announcement will most likely hurt Trump’s floundering presidential aspirations by arming his critics with new evidence that the billionaire real estate tycoon and his family prefer to buy and sell products made overseas.
In July, Robert Lawrence, a trade and investment professor at Harvard, wrote that more than 600 of the 838 products being advertised by Ivanka have been imported mainly from China.
So far, the Trump family has declined to comment on the issue, according to Quartz.
Africa’s Biggest Hub for Textile Manufacturing
In recent years, Ethiopia has become one of the largest textile manufacturing centers in Africa.
Multinational firms, such as H&M and Primark, have relied on the country for their clothing supplies.
The rise in the number of international companies looking to Ethiopia for textile has largely been attributed to the reduced cost of production and the government’s investment in industrial zones.
Ethiopia was included on McKinsey’s annual list of major sourcing destinations for the first time ever in 2015, following an analysis of chief purchasing officers who were asked to name the top five future sourcing destinations.
Jobs for Ethiopians
Many Ethiopians have welcomed the news of the shoe company, saying the company will create jobs for hundreds of young people who are currently idle.
Could Ivanka Trump shoes soon be made in Ethiopia? Yes. She can get five workers for the price of one Chinese… https://t.co/Az4wmIZ46J
— Georgia Lewis (@georgialewis76) October 11, 2016
This has led to the continued illegal migration of the country’s young population as they search for better opportunities.