Djibouti International Free Trade Zone
The first phase of the Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) was officially inaugurated in July 2018 under the auspices of the heads of state of Djibouti, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia as well as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and key shareholders such as China Merchants.
Becoming a global trade hub
DIFTZ, set to be the largest free trade zone in Africa once complete, presents dynamic new opportunities for businesses from around the world. The project is being led by a global alliance including DPFZA, China Merchants Group, Dalian Port Authority and IZP Group.
A phased development
The initial phase, a 240-hectare zone, is the result of a $370 million investment and consists of three functional blocks located close to all of Djibouti’s major ports.
The full free zone will focus on the development of industries such as the logistics, marine, construction, automotive, and home electrical industries. Once complete, it will span an area of 4,800 hectares.
The DIFTZ is equipped with advanced facilities including high-speed telecommunications, power and water supplies, roads and parking lots.
The pilot zone has four industrial clusters which focus on trade and logistics, export processing and business support:
1. Logistics Industry Cluster: transportation, bonded warehousing, logistics and distribution;
2. Business Industry Cluster: bulk bonded goods transactions, merchandise display, duty-free merchandise retail;
3. Business Support Cluster: financial services, information services, hotel dormitories, office buildings, training, intermediary services;
4. Processing Manufacturing Cluster: packaging production, light processing of incoming materials, food processing, marine products, auto parts assembly.
A hub for the region
The project also creates major business opportunities for Djibouti and East Africa as the region’s export manufacturing and processing capacity is expanded in key sectors such as food, automotive parts, textiles and packaging.