China Is Turning Ethiopia Into a Giant Fast-Fashion Factory

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The project is Beijing’s big experiment in outsourcing, and a $10 billion shot in the arm for the African nation—if there isn’t a civil war first.

Standing in a sunny office in Indochine International’s brand-new factory, Raghav Pattar, vice president of this Chinese apparel manufacturer, is ebullient. It’s November, barely six months since the Hawassa Industrial Park opened, and already he has 1,400 locals at work. Pattar is shooting to employ 20,000 Ethiopians by 2019. “Twenty-four months ago, the land we’re sitting on was farm fields,” he says. “What country can change in 24 months? That is Ethiopia!”

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