HIROKI Co. Ltd, a company established in 1952 opened a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia Sebeta area where it will be producing several high end apparels, shoes and other accessories.
The company invested around USD 500,000 in to the soon to be operational manufacturing company.
“We have already received our license; we are currently waiting for some machines in Djibouti. We will be starting production next month,” stated Youngil Song, Representative and president of HIROKI Addis Manufacturing S.C.
The president of the company stated that the main reason the company is investing in Ethiopia was the high quality of sheep skin found here. For the last seven years, HIROKI imported the skin from Ethiopia to its manufacturing base located in Beijing, China.
“We are the first manufacturing company from Japan to invest in Ethiopia. I say that Ethiopian leather is number one in the world. Our company has 60 years of experience in the production of leather and fur products. We import leather from many countries such as Italy, Spain, Canada, the U.S and more but we believe that Ethiopian leather has a higher quality than any of those,” Song stated.
In June last year, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn along with other government officials visited HIROKI’s shop and held talks with the executive staff of the company.
“We hope that this will encourage other companies to follow in the footsteps of HIROKI and invest in Ethiopia. The items that are manufactured by this company are really high quality. For example one jacket is sold for USD one thousand. I think this is also a new thing for Ethiopia,” said Hiroe Shimabukuro from Access Ethiopia, a consulting company.
The Ethiopian branch company has sent several of its staff to its manufacturing base in China to get new trainings about the techniques of sewing and other keys to the industry. It was also stated by the president that the company has brought experts from Japan to train and work with the remaining staff at the company based here