DJIBOUTI, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The opening ceremony for Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port of the Port of Djibouti was held here Wednesday, with Djibouti's President Ismael Omar Guelleh, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Chinese Ambassador Fu Huaqiang present.
Hu Jianhua, executive vice president of China Merchants Group, said in his remarks: "With the completion of Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port, more cargo will be shipped to neighboring countries from the Port of Djibouti."
China will implement other projects in Djibouti, including building a free trade zone, upgrading old docks and constructing an industrial zone, he said.
Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port is constructed by China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), and is so far the largest port project by Chinese construction companies in northeast Africa.
The port, with a contract amount of 421.7 million U.S. dollars and designed handling capacity of 7.08 million tons a year, is also CSCEC's first hydraulic project in Africa and its largest hydraulic project overseas so far.
The project officially started in August 2014. Chinese construction workers overcame tremendous difficulties such as the scorching heat and austere working conditions, and finished building the port in March 2017, creating the astonishing "Djibouti speed."
Due to its convenient geographic location of connecting Asia to Europe and Africa by sea, Djibouti has become an important link in the Asian, African and European markets, as well as a transport hub on the west line of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
The opening of Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port will not only provide an important foothold for Chinese enterprises exploring the African market, but also bring new hope of great economic development for Djibouti.