The Republic of Djibouti
A port in Djibouti (Photo: VCG)
Area: 23,200 square kilometers
Population: About 1 million
Language: official languages are French and Arabic. Other main languages include Afar and Somali.
Geography: Djibouti is located in northeast Africa. It is next to the Bab el-Mandab Strait that links the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Independence Day: June 27
GDP (2018): $1.9 billion
GDP per capita (2018): $1,937
Growth rate (2018): 4.3%
Currency (2018): Djibouti Franc
Djibouti is one of the least developed countries in the world. It is lack of natural resources and its foundation of agriculture and industry is weak. Over 95 percent of agricultural and industrial products in Djibouti are imported. Transportation and port services are dominant industries in Djibouti’s economy, making up 80 percent of its GDP.
Head of state: President Ismail Omar Guelleh
Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh (Photo: VCG)
China and Djibouti established diplomatic relations in 1979. Since then, China has offered assistance to Djibouti. In October 2011, China offered emergency food aids worth of 60 million yuan to Djibouti. In May 2015, Chinese government offered emergency aids to Djibouti to help solve Yemeni refugee issues. Construction on the China-funded Djibouti Free Trade Zone started in January 2017.
A container truck passes through the main gate of Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) after the inauguration ceremony in Djibouti on July 5, 2018. (Photo: VCG)
China and Djibouti cooperated significantly in culture, education and health. Since 1986, China provided Djibouti students with government scholarships, and has received 194 students for government scholarships as of 2017. China has sent 19 medical teams to Djibouti since 1981, and 14 Chinese medical staff now work in Djibouti.
In 2017, China and Djibouti agreed to establish strategic partnership to strengthen all-round cooperation.
In 2018, bilateral trade volume reached $1.8 billion, in which China’s export to Djibouti takes a major part. In January 2018, the Chinese-built 756-km electrified rail project connecting landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti officially started commercial operations.
In February 2019, China and Djibouti pledged to step up implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in order to push forward the development of their bilateral strategic partnership.