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Samsung Electronics to Invest in South African Plant in Durban

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest smartphone maker, will open a plant in South Africa, a Trade and Industry Department official said. The company said it will make an announcement in two weeks.

The facility will be at the Dube TradePort, a duty-free area adjacent to the harbor in the eastern city of Durban, Trade and Industry Director-General Lionel October said in an interview yesterday. It’s one of several special economic zones the country is setting up to encourage investment.

“We have worked with Samsung and they identified the Dube TradePort as a space to operate from,” he said. President Jacob Zuma “will launch the special economic zone within a month or so and the first investment anchor will be Samsung,” he said. The company will make an official announcement within the next two weeks, Stefanie Bosman, a spokeswoman for its local office, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The South Korean company is targeting $10 billion of sales in Africa annually by 2015, the Seoul Economic Daily reported on July 8. The number of mobile-phone users may rise 43 percent to 346 million by 2017 from 2012 in sub-Saharan Africa, the fastest-growing region, where roughly two-thirds of the population are without a mobile subscription, the GSM Association, an industry body, said in a 2013 report.

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