26 June 2012

Tanzania: Locals Encourage Fake Chinese Imports - Envoy

Local traders are partly to blame for counterfeit imports from the Far East, particularly China, according to a senior Chinese embassy official in Tanzania.

Mr Lin Zhiyong, the embassy's economic and commercial head, blamed local traders for 'encouraging' some manufacturers in China to produce low quality products at low prices.

"Good prices come with good quality. However, they are traders who would sometime quote just a third of the actual price for a respective commodity. This encourages manufacturers in China to produce low quality products that match the quoted prices," he said.

Mr Zhiyong made the remarks in response to queries by journalists at a news conference in Dar es Salaam on Monday, who had sought to know the position of the Chinese government on the flooding of sub-standard products in the local market.

"And sometimes some of these products said to originate from my country are in fact produced in other countries and China is just used as a camouflage," he explained.

The official called for joint efforts between the governments of China and Tanzania in tackling the problem which has had negative impact on Tanzania, while at the same time tarnishing the image of China.

"My government has made several efforts to clear our image but consuming capability in developing countries has made it complex to deal with perpetrators behind fake products," he noted.

He, however, admitted that with the current economic hardships facing many parts of the world, cheap products are easily sold compared to expensive ones.

Business between Tanzania and China has significantly grown during the past five years, thanks to a preferential treatment of zero tariffs charged by China for most of Tanzanian products.

An official with the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Mr Adam Zuku, said during the news conference that exports to China have grown by 432 per cent during the period from 156 million US dollars in 2007 to 677 million US dollars last year.

"On the other hand, imports from China amounts to 1.05 billion US dollars as of last year up from US 415 million dollars," Mr Zuku said.

Meanwhile, China is next month expected to stage what officials have described as the largest business exhibition in Africa dubbed "Brands of China African Showcase 2012."

A total of 110 exhibitors from eight provinces in the Far East country are expected to take part in the exhibition which will run from July 1 to 5 at the Julius Nyerere International Trade Fair grounds in the city.

Products to be exhibited include machinery, vehicles, electrical equipment, home appliances as well as solar energy equipment, construction materials and consumer goods, among others.

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