Feautre: Fast-selling Chinese products give Kenyan traders brisk business

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-16 22:52:45|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, July 16 (Xinhua) -- At a group of stalls on a lane off OTC bus terminus in downtown Nairobi, Kenya's capital, dozens of diapers and other baby items are stacked outside shops as the traders seek to catch the attention of customers.

The lane is popular with both retailers and consumers seeking baby items at affordable prices.

The bulk of the baby products are Chinese imports, and there is a reason why they dominate, according to inquiries.

Traders noted that they are mainly stocking Chinese products because they are fast-moving.

"Most people who come here are asking for Chinese brands, from diapers to baby wipes. So why should I stock any other that will tie up my money?" Antony Kinyua, a trader said on Monday.

Kinyua noted that besides the price, which is affordable making the products move faster, the diapers offer consumers more value for money.

"In the 'small' size pack of Chinese diaper brands, you will find 48 pieces yet in the others there are 36. I sell the Chinese ones at 600 shillings (6 U.S. dollars) while the others, some made locally, go for 6.5 dollars. People go for where they get value of their money," he explained, noting it is the same case with other baby items.

The baby products are among Chinese merchandise whose popularity has risen among Kenyan consumers and traders.

From vehicle tyres to shoes, toys, clothes, mobile phones and electronics, the Chinese merchandises rule Kenya's retail sector.

It is not hard to tell that the Chinese items have found a huge market in Kenya as one walks along the streets of the capital Nairobi.

In downtown Nairobi, the business hub of the city, for instance, mobile phones of Tecno, Oppo or Huawei are popular.

"This one goes for 179 dollars," an attendant at a phone shop on Moi Avenue said upon being asked for Huawei Y7 Prime phone.

"If you want a phone that you will not struggle with the battery, has a good memory and camera, either go for this or any make of Tecno or Oppo," she added.

Sellers of Chinese-made apparels and plastic items are among the other traders recording a boom.

The plastics that go for as low as 0.05 dollars for things like cups and plates and a dollar for children shoes are a hit among low-and middle-income consumers.

"I replenish my stock every two weeks and this is because the items have ready market since they are affordable," said Francis Mwanzia, a trader in Kitengela, a suburb on the outskirts of Nairobi, adding that in a good day, he makes up to 50 dollars from his wares.

Just as many other traders, he sells his products in a flea market in the town where hundreds of people flock every week.

Ernest Manuyo, a business management lecturer in Nairobi, noted that one of the things that makes Chinese goods stand out is pricing.

"The Chinese traders seem to have understood Kenya's price-sensitive market and have cashed it on it. For Kenyan consumers, price is the main determinant of their decision they make when buying a product," said Manuyo.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Chinese exports to Kenya stood at 3.8 billion dollars in 2018, up from 1.6 billion dollars in 2007.

However, instead of relying on imports, Kenya is welcoming Chinese investors to set up factories in the country so that they can make the goods locally.

Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, recently said setting up local factories would boost the manufacturing sector and accelerate industrialization.