A Chi­nese com­pany’s first ven­ture abroad cre­ates jobs and brings tech­nol­ogy to Su­dan

ChinAfrica - - Business -

WU Yongke still re­mem­bers the ex­cite­ment lo­cal peo­ple showed when he an­nounced the open­ing of a plant, his com­pany’s first over­seas fa­cil­ity in North Africa’s Su­dan, one year ago.

Wu is the CEO of Shi­ji­azhuang Ja­son Build­ing Ma­te­ri­als Im­port and Ex­port Trad­ing Co. Ltd. Founded in 1992, his com­pany is a ma­jor plas­ter­board man­u­fac­turer lo­cated in north China’s He­bei Prov­ince, a world away from Africa. But with the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive pick­ing up steam, his com­pany de­cided to jump on the band­wagon and test in­ter­na­tional waters with the launch of a Su­dan-based branch in De­cem­ber 2015.

But of all the coun­tries out there, why choose Su­dan? Af­ter ex­ten­sive mar­ket re­search, the com­pany found that gyp­sum boards im­ported from China were used al­most every­where in the coun­try, whether it’s pub­lic build­ings, shops or mar­kets.

This is how Su­dan Ja­son Build­ing was born in 2015 in Khar­toum, the Su­danese cap­i­tal. But open­ing a first over­seas fac­tory was not a walk in the park, re­mem­bers Wu. “The pro­ce­dures were quite cum­ber­some and we had to call on a spe­cial­ized lawyer to help us deal with the for­mal­i­ties and dis­cuss de­tails with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties,” he said.

On the bright side, the com­pany ben­e­fits from a tax ex­emp­tion on im­ported ma­chin­ery, and en­joys a lower tar­iff rate for the raw ma­te­ri­als it brings from China.

Ac­cord­ing to Wu, its Khar­toum plas­ter­board plant is the only one of its kind in Su­dan. To­day, it pro­duces al­most 3 mil­lion square me­ters of plas­ter­board per year, sup­ply­ing up to two thirds of the lo­cal de­mand, and, to a lesser ex­tent, the re­gional mar­ket.

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