In February 2013, China Merchants purchased 23.5% of PDSA's shares. The old port of Djibouti is located in the center of the city. The facilities of the old port are not capable enough, and the conflict between the port operation and city development has emerged. Therefore, we implemented a package solution: Port-Park-City model.
1. Port- build a new port
While improving the management of the old port, China Merchants worked with Djibouti government to develop a new modern deep-water multi-purpose port. All operation shall be transferred from the old port to the new port, thus solving the conflict between the port and the city. The port is capable to receive the current largest vessel, assisting Djibouti to become international maritime hub. The total investment is kept as US$ 580 million, US$ 20 million less than the original plan but the capacity is more than doubled. The new DMP port started construction in August 2013 and became operational in April 2017.
2. Park– build a new Free Trade Zone
On 16th January 2017, with the witness of the President of Djibouti, the groundbreaking ceremony of Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) was carried out. The planned area of the whole DIFTZ covers 48.2 squre kilometers, phase I covers 6 square kilometers with nearly US$ 400 million investment. Djibouti government trusted China Merchants with their most valuable coast line and land.
The development of DIFTZ includes the construction of hardware as well as software. Four parts of DIFTZ are: logistics and trading park, export processing zone, high-end services such as financing service, big data service and trading facilitation; training center.
DIFTZ started construction in January 2017. Project finance, business promotion and operation are all proceeding as planned. The whole Pilot Zone will be operational by the end of 2017.
3. City– build a new city
After DMP become operational, the business of the old port will be gradually transferred to DMP. And the land of old port will be relived for city development. Business center, offices, hotels and tourism facilities will all be development to make a new CBD of Djibouti. This solution helps Djibouti government to realize the upgrade of old port at the minimum cost.