SCMP: China Merchants signs $350 million deal for Shekou-style revamp of Djibouti port
Tue January, 2021, Age: 2 years
China’s largest port operator, China Merchants Group, has signed a $350 million deal to revamp Djibouti’s deep water port. The updates are to be modelled on the southern Chinese port of Shekou in Shenzhen that is integrated with a free-trade zone and business centre. China Merchants owns an existing 23.5 percent stake in the Port of Djibouti, and analysts see Djibouti as a key part of China Merchants’ overseas port ambitions, given its location on the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, a vital link in maritime trade between Europe and Asia. But China Merchants’ presence in the country has not been without controversy, and researchers have warned that the government of Djibouti needs to be careful about its debt sustainability.