In the year 2000, He Liehui gave up a promising law career to launch a small retail business selling t-shirts, with just 4,650 yuan ($700) to his name.
Some 17 years on, his fledgling t-shirt business has transformed into a multinational group of companies which cover finance, mining, real estate, tourism, and trade across 20 African nations as well as Europe and America.
Touchroad International Holdings Group, has a strong focus on African development, and since 2008, has held the Touchroad China-Africa Invest Forum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
He Liehui, chairman of Touchroad International Holdings Group was received by Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh to discuss bilateral cooperation project about Djibouti Economic Zone on Feb 11, 2015. [Photo/Touchroad]
Thus making Touchroad the first Chinese private enterprise authorized to build a special economic zone in Africa.
Situated at the mouth of the Red Sea and the gateway to the Suez Canal, Djibouti is a place of huge strategic importance and a hub of world trade routes, connecting Asia, Africa and Europe.
The Touchroad Djibouti Special Economic Zone (TDSEZ) will be a fulcrum of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. Currently under construction, it is expected to be completed by 2026, as a fully functional city rather than a traditional development zone or an industrial park.
He Liehui, chairman of Touchroad International Holdings Group attends the launch ceremony of the Djibouti Economic Zone on Feb 12. [Photo/Touchroad]
The zone is expected to bring many jobs and economic benefits to the area, as well as promote cultural, political and social exchanges with China.
He said that Touchroad will continue to boost cooperation between China and Djibouti. Rooted in its corporate culture of integrity and sharing, the group is to build more quality Chinese brands in Africa, and contribute to China’s B&R Initiative, for the benefit of both countries and the whole world.
Seventeen senior legal officials and lawyers from 10 African countries came to visit the Africa Center in Shanghai on Monday.