Business Travel Advice for the emerging African Merchants
Guangzhou is situated in the Guangdong province and is the third largest city after Shanghai and Beijing China and is a mega business hub with congested foot traffic and people that are eager to tap into lustrous brands and eye-catching fashion pieces varied from original to replica items. It is literally the black Friday of any African merchant but at a marginal cost.
According to research, the region has the largest exports value among all provinces that contributes 27 percent of China’s total exports. It has the largest retail sales of consumer goods. It is also home to the Import and Export annual Canton Fair.
There is a perception that the goods in China are cheap but I would not agree 100 percent, as there are various product ranges and variances in prices. The major attraction is the variety of products within close proximity and good competitiveness in prices and wholesale potential. This makes it a collusion ground for traders to remain highly competitive and eager enough to out-muscle each other.
This is surely a rewarding experience for us Africans emanating from dusty roads but desperate to change trends for us and people back home. In a short space, you witness the highest concentration of Africans in a foreign marketplace with loaded baggage and on a “major hustle” for income.
The entry to this trade game is however not so easy either because you have to cover a plane ticket and hotel bill, hence hotels are affordable in every sense based on preference.
“Canaan” as the place is known is home to African traders and almost similar to Cape Town’s Bellville Shopping area and has foreign exchange offices. The market place is close to a centralised metro train station and has hotels in its locale. All the shops are owned by Chinese nationals and are directly linked to factories in the industrial areas. Major traders go straight to the industrial areas but English can be a problem for the Chinese nationals but don’t worry there is an “oga” from Naija that has been in China for many years and can translate for you in pure Mandarin.
According to made-in-china.com, Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone (GETDZ) is located 30 kilometres away from Guangzhou. It has a developed area of 17.67 square kilometres. There are six pillar industries in the zone, including chemical materials and products, electric machinery, foodstuffs, electronic equipment, metallurgy and metal fabrication, and beverages.
Nansha Development Zone (NDZ), is in southeast Guangzhou and at the mouth of Pearl River. Nansha focuses on industries of shipbuilding, harbour logistics, automobile manufacturing, machinery and equipment manufacturing, iron and steel, petrochemical, grain logistics and processing, micro-electronics and photo-electron.
Zengcheng Xintang Industrial Processing Zone is in the south of Zengcheng City and close to the Guangzhou Economic and Technologic Development Zone.
Xintang Industrial Processing Zone attaches importance to the development of foreign-oriented industries. It has introduced many foreign enterprises engaged in textile, fabrics, machinery, electronics, plastics and chemicals to operate at the Zone. Industry plays a guiding role while the tertiary industry has a sound development.
What we can derive is the focus on industrial zones and strengthening our border or port towns such as Oshikango, Katima Mulilo, Walvis Bay, and Luderitz, etc. God bless Namibia.
Rodney Dan-Ao !Hoaeb is a Trade and Investment Researcher committed to seeing a radical economic shake-up in Namibia.