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From Site Selection magazine, July 2010

Ethiopia’s Textile City

Turkish textile manufacturer Ayka Textile recently opened what is believed to be the largest textile and apparel manufacturing complex in sub-Saharan Africa. The facility is located near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Photo courtesy of Ayka Textile

yka Addis Textile & Investment Group, a subsidiary of Ayka Textile in Turkey, has opened a massive textile and manufacturing complex in Ethiopia, about 20 km. (12.4 miles) west of Addis Ababa. The company describes the $100-million complex as the biggest vertically integrated textile factory in sub-Saharan Africa. The factory, which will include spinning, knitting, dyeing and sewing operations, will produce knitted apparel.

It will employ 10,000 when it reaches full capacity, according to Ayka Textile.

The Istanbul-based company was founded in 1988 as a ready-made garment manufacturer and exporter. Ayka Textile anticipates generating more than $70 million in export sales annually from the factory.

Desert Dessert


ars GCC recently opened a new $40-million chocolate bar factory in Dubai to serve the six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council. The factory will produce Mars and Snickers bars.

"Mars GCC has been experiencing double-digit growth year on year since the beginning of the decade," said Ahmed Bayoumi, general manager of Mars GCC. "In 2009 Mars GCC net sales exceeded US$450 million. We are pleased that consumer demand in the Middle East … continues to generate opportunities for stable long-term growth. This has led to the investment of more than US$100 million in our manufacturing unit since 1998. We are committed to strengthening our position as the leading chocolate manufacturer in the Middle East, and our increased presence in GCC will help us achieve this growth by supporting consumer and customer needs in the region."

Renault’s Argentina Upgrade


enault has invested more than $32 million to modernize its Santa Isabel Plant in Cordoba, Argentina.

The project, which will add 258 employees, includes a new projection line devoted to vehicles for the Latin American market. The plant builds vehicles solely for that market, complementing the output of the Curitiba plant in Brazil.

The Santa Isabel plant was built in 1955.

Renault, which says it is keen to build market share in Latin America, has a commercial presence in 22 Latin American countries and builds vehicles and powertrain subsystems in four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia). In 2009, with 216,576 vehicles built, the Americas accounted for 10 percent of the Renault Group's total global output. Renault sold 254,957 vehicles in this market in 2009.

Renault is modernizing its plant in Cordoba, Argentina.

Daimler Launches Uzbek Bus JV

Pictured at the signing ceremony in the Uzbek capital Tashkent are, from left, Ulugbek Rozukulov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Chairman of Uzavtosanoat; Andreas Renschler, member of the board of management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses; Hartmut Schick, head of Daimler Buses.
Photo courtesy of Daimler

aimler has launched a new Mercedes-Benz bus joint venture in Uzbekistan with Uzbek company Uzavtosanoat. The JV will assemble and sell coaches, intercity buses, city buses and midibuses for the Uzbek market and for export to neighboring countries.

"I'm delighted that we have taken another important step in our efforts towards opening up growth markets," said Andreas Renschler, member of the board of management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses. "We have been selling Mercedes-Benz buses to customers in Uzbekistan, and in particular in Tashkent, since 1994. Today we have created the basis for also producing a wide range of buses in the country and for serving the neighboring growth markets with locally manufactured products."

Hartmut Schick, head of Daimler Buses, said, "Local production will significantly improve the market opportunities for Daimler Buses in Uzbekistan and Central Asia. With Uzavtosanoat, we know that we have a strong, professional and reliable partner that knows the Central Asian markets inside out and has considerable experience in production and sales."

The Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Buses Central Asia GmbH will own a majority stake (51 percent) in the new joint venture. The remaining 49 percent of the new firm will be owned by the automotive holding company Uzavtosanoat.

Uzavtosanoat will provide the factory buildings. Daimler Buses will deliver the Mercedes-Benz chassis, while the bodies will be built in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz' long-standing body-building partner, Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles (MCV).

The production capacities being created allow a minimum of 600 buses annually under full-scale production, with the possibility to gradually increase the volumes.

The first batch of vehicles is to be delivered as early as September. The products manufactured in Uzbekistan will include luxury coaches as well as intercity buses and low-entry city buses and midibuses, which will be sold under the "Mercedes-Benz" brand. All buses fulfill the Euro 3 emission standard which has been effective in Uzbekistan since January 2010.

Daimler officials said Tashkent has a well-organized local public transportation system, which operates Central Asia's largest and most modern bus fleet on an extensive network of roads. The city's existing fleet of Mercedes-Benz 0405 city buses is gradually being replaced with Mercedes-Benz Conecto vehicles. Tashkent is also the only city in Central Asia to operate a metro subway.

Composites Firm Picks Switzerland for EMEA HQ


iberforge, a composites specialist, has opened its European subsidiary, Fiberforge GmbH, in Switzerland to serve as its EMEA headquarters. The facility in Baar, in the canton Zug, will be managed by Simon Jespersen, an expert in thermoplastic advanced composites. Jespersen said the subsidiary will lead European sales and business development efforts, and manage joint development projects with customers.

"Switzerland was the first and only choice as being the best single entry point for a small company looking to expand in Europe and for a large company, which we endeavor to be some day, needing favorable tax treatment," Jespersen said. "Other pluses include a motivated, well-educated multilingual workforce facilitating business across boundaries, excellent transportation and communications infrastructure, a business-friendly government and the country's own research and educational institutions."

Rotterdam Port Expansion

Work is proceeding on the massive land reclamation project at the Port of Rotterdam.

he construction of Maasvlakte 2, the land reclamation project in the North Sea that will enlarge the Port of Rotterdam by 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres), is proceeding on schedule. The construction consortium PUMA recently shifted the largest amount of sand ever moved in one week in a land reclamation project. About 3.8 million cubic meters (134.2 million cu. ft.) of sand were transported to the Maasvlakte 2 area in just one week, which the port believes to be a world record. The 120 millionth cubic meter of sand was sprayed on, marking the halfway point of the project.

Construction of the first quay wall started in February and PUMA has begun building the hard sea defenses on the northwest side of the new land, where a peninsula stretching around 3 km (1.86 miles) has been sprayed on in recent months.

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