China Sourcing Fair ended on November 11th with Chinese manufacturers having trade leads with African buyers.
The fair stated on Thursday with more than 800 manufacturers from China exhibiting their products to African buyers. Bill Janeri, the fair organizer, told Xinhua that the fair was a success.
"The show was great - one of our best since we came to South Africa four years ago. We had very positive feedback from the suppliers who exhibited at the fair. And the buyers were very interested in the products that were on display. The majority of our exhibitors received numerous inquiries and received initial orders."
Janeri said many international buyers do not understand China and that there was a need to bring buyers and manufacturers together. Trade leads would be followed to make trade deals. He said the fair will increase trade between African and Chinese companies.
"China's manufacturers dominate the production of many of the world's consumer products. So, if you're a buyer or importer of these products, you have to talk to suppliers from China. Getting these consumer products into Africa is important to the continued development of continental Africa's consumer-based economies.
"Growing economies and growing middle classes in these countries mean there is greater demand for consumer products .. whether that means consumers can buy a new flat-screen television, or they can buy products to remodel their homes. Demand is increasing for these products, and China's manufacturers are the ones who supply them."
He had no figures as to how many people attended the show. African companies were given tips on how to source from China.
Janeri says more than 600 people attended the conference where they were taught on how to buy products from China.
Zach Hedge, an expert on the Chinese market, addressed African companies on how to buy products from China.
"Try to be serious when dealing with these companies, they receive more than 2,500 inquires a day, try not to waste their time and be serious. Try to understand them and have a good relationship called "guanxi" (in Chinese). Be honest and specific with what you want to buy. If you want quality product, pay more money and do not expect to pay less for a quality products."
Sibusiso Chonco from Sakhisizwe Technical told Xinhua that the fair was an eye opener to him as it taught him how to cut the middlemen. Chonco said he got some contacts of Chinese suppliers and he will be buying computer components from China.
"The fair was good for us. Buying from China is not the same as buying from America or Europe. The presentations were helpful and informative. I have been to China twice this year and the presentations I got will assist me to solve some of the problems I encountered."
Andy Dong, the sales manager of Yihai Electric Equipment, said he had many trade leads which he will follow up to make trade deals.
Dong said, "More than 400 people came to make enquiries about our products. It was one of the busiest. The problem was that most of our prospective buyers wanted to order small quantities while we supply big quantities."
He said they exchange details and they will communicate with the view of doing business. He said he got inquiries from South Africans, Zimbabweans and others from Botswana. Yihai Electric Equipment is currently supplying televisions in Senegal, Uganda and Kenya.
Galiraba Joseph from Uganda said he will be buying raw materials and machinery from China.
"The information we got here was helpful. I will be importing machinery and raw materials from China. I will buy juice concentrates and machinery from them."
Jona Tembo from Zimbabwe also said the show was a success, adding that they now understand how to do business with China.
"It was great to discuss business with manufacturers from China. It is risky to deal with people you have never seen because you can be coned. Seeing manufactures increased confidence in us since we will be dealing with people we saw face to face. I have made contacts with manufacturers from China and will get in touch with them."
The show brought manufactures of different sectors like the electronic gadgets, garments and hardware.