Feature: Zambian small-scale traders leveraging opportunities China presents to thrive

(Xinhua) 13:20, September 14, 2023

LUSAKA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- In the international trade space, small-scale cross-border traders are constantly seeking opportunities to thrive, and many Zambian traders have found a fruitful destination in China.

Home to a vast manufacturing industry and competitive product offerings, China has become an attractive market for Zambian traders looking to expand their businesses, some of them told Xinhua.

For Zambian traders, the appeal of China lies in the diversity of products available and offered at affordable prices. From electronics to clothing and footwear, China's wide range of goods has found a ready market in the southern African country.

Small-scale cross-border traders, based in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, revealed that getting goods from China is not only a seamless undertaking but one that is enabling them to thrive.

Traders also observed that sourcing products from China has created a host of other opportunities for individuals and businesses in Zambia.

"The affordability of products from China allows me to sell them at competitive prices in Zambia, which means better returns," said Agness Daka, 31, a trader involved in selling footwear and clothing for all ages.

Daka, who trades at Lusaka's bustling Kamwala Market, pointed out that buying from China has allowed her to build partnerships that have helped her business.

"In the past one and a half years of consistently ordering things from China, I have been able to cultivate good relationships with my suppliers in China who are not only honest but also consistent. These relationships have become the backbone of my business," she said.

Evangel Penda, 34, another Lusaka-based cross-border trader specializing in hair extensions, revealed that her business began to thrive when she focused on getting merchandise from China.

"It was not until I switched to buying from dealers based in China that my business registered significant growth. Chinese products are good and affordable, which is very helpful for small businesses," Penda said.

Sumani Sakala, 30, an electronics seller and repairer, lauded Chinese manufacturing companies for producing a wide range of versatile electronic products.

"Products from China are functional and easy to use. The items are reasonably priced, which means I can earn more from my work," said Sakala, who is also the chief executive officer of Pradesh Enterprises, a company that sells electronic office equipment.

Precious Lungu, 24, proprietor of Meyiah's Collection, a boutique specializing in trendy outfits and accessories for younger women, highlighted the convenience of sourcing products from China and the many income opportunities that are being created for youth in Zambia.

"Buying products from China creates a number of jobs for young people who are engaged at various stages. For example, my company engages youth in piecework from time to time. The youngsters help in counting and sorting the goods as well as displaying the items on the shelves in the store," she explained.

Lungu further said buying items for resale from China has not only created opportunities for small-scale traders like herself, but has also strengthened Zambian companies involved in transportation and logistics.

"There are many small-scale traders in Zambia who buy things from China and use the services of Zambian clearing and forwarding companies. That means these companies are also benefiting," she added.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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