Chinese conglomerate CEFC plans investment in Georgia industrial zone

BEIJING, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy said it plans to invest in a free industrial zone in Poti, Georgia, on the Black Sea, as part of a plan to diversify its overseas investments, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Chinese firm will take a stake in the industrial zone, which will be engaged in manufacturing, trading and logistics as well as financial services, CEFC said, without giving any details on the size of its investment.

The two sides aimed to build the industrial zone into a transfer hub for exporting Chinese goods and services to Europe and Central Asia, taking advantage of Poti’s port facilities and its geographical location, CEFC said.

Privately owned CEFC, in just a few years, has gone from a niche oil trader to a $25 billion conglomerate with strong political ties and a contract to store part of China’s strategic oil reserves, a rare achievement for a non-state company.

Last week, CEFC agreed to buy a 14.2 percent stake in Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, for $9.1 billion.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Tom Hogue