Korea takes the lead.

Author:Street, Jennie

Korea's Keangnam Enterprises is building Eritrea into a modern state almost single handed. Jennie Street met the executive director, Mr Tae-Ho.

"We faced the same problems as Eritrea and we feel for them," said Mr Moon Tae-Ho, executive director of Keangnam Enterprises, African regional head-quarters, based in Asmara.

"Because of our war and outside interference, in the 1950s our country was destroyed and we rebuilt it from the 1960s up to now. In Keangnam we think of ourselves as an international construction company, but we are also a partnership with the Eritrean government, helping to rebuild their country. We're not just aiming for profit."

In four years, Keangnam, a part of the huge Daewoo group, has penetrated deeply into the construction sector in Eritrea. Working on eight different large projects, it is also offering to build more housing complexes. The Sembel residential complex of 1,250 flats, plus offices, sports facilities, kindergarten and shops, was mostly completed in 1997 and sold for occupation. At its peak, this project employed 8,000 workers.

Also in Asmara, Keangnam is currently constructing the Housing and Commerce Bank head-quarters, the HCB offices in the Sembel project, and renovating the Italian hospital for a PFDJ joint venture due to...

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