NewsEast & Horn AfricaDjibouti sees economy growing 7% next year


Posted on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 07:00

Djibouti sees economy growing 7% next year

By Reuters

Locomotives for the new Ethiopia to Djibouti electric railway system queue outside a train station in Addis Ababa, September 2016. Photo: Elias Meseret/AP/SIPADjibouti's economy is expected to grow 7% in 2017 from a projected 6.5% this year, helped by investment in ports, telecommunications and airports, its budget minister said.


Strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal, Djibouti has been seeking to expand its role as transhipment hub and export route for its landlocked neighbour Ethiopia.

It is also home to US and French, Japanese bases, while China is building a military base.

Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf told Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat at the weekend that Saudi Arabia was discussing building a base.

"The growth rate is projected at 7% in 2017, generated by the increase in direct investment," Budget Minister Bodeh Ahmed Robleh told Reuters late on Tuesday.

He said the economy would be boosted by activity at its ports, airport and free trade zones, as well as in telecommunications.

Djibouti is expanding its port facilities to handle more bulk commodities, containers and other goods.

Export and import route for Ethiopia

It is also constructing two new airports to handle more tourists and cargo.

The Horn of African nation is already the main export and import route for fast-growing Ethiopia, and the two nations are now connected by a new 750-km electrified railway line.

Djibouti says it plans $12.4 bn in investments between 2015 and 2020, mostly using Chinese financing.

Robleh was speaking after the cabinet approved a $674.92m budget for fiscal year 2017, with spending focussed on improving water supplies, desalination of sea water, housing, building powerlines, drilling geothermal exploratory wells and the construction of port terminals.

"The objective of the 2017 Budget is to increase the supply of quality basic services, improve the education system and strengthen the health system, as well as housing and decentralization," Robleh said.



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