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  Home > Voices from Media
Zimbabwe: China Denies Exporting Inferior Products
2010/05/06

Victoria Ruzvidzo

Source: allAfrica.com

5 May 2010

THE Chinese government has dismissed as incorrect, assertions that the Asian country exports inferior products to Africa, saying it has a whole range of products from which importers can choose.

Responding to questions from journalists from the continent over the growing belief that China produces poor quality products, Vice Foreign Minister in charge of African Affairs Mr Zhai Jun said the money offered by the consumer always determined the quality of product they would get.

"All our products are of high quality; that is why we are the world's biggest exporter. Today's China practices the market economy and Chinese companies conform to market dictates.

"Some products are made according to the price offered. If you offer the lowest price, you get poor products," he said.

As the world's "workshop", China manufactured a variety of products to suit all market categories.

However, consumers in Zimbabwe and other countries in Africa have often been under the general impression that the Asian giant only produces low-grade electricals, machinery, clothing and other items, with some accusing it of dumping shoddy products on the continent.

Such sectors as textiles and clothing have bemoaned losing a significant portion of their market share to Chinese products which are much cheaper than goods the locals can produce, particularly for the lower end of the market.

However, analysts feel China has done more good than harm to the continent's economy. The influx of Chinese products has been attributed to the opening-up of the global economy and the growing number of local customers that require the more affordable products from that country. This is particularly in view of rising poverty stemming from global recession, political instability in some countries and the effects of climate change.

Most car manufacturers, high-tech companies, clothing designers and food processors have relocated their factories to China where economies of scale are in their favour.

Therefore, most of the products consumed globally are made in China, as the country consolidates its position as the fastest growing economy in the world. Its Gross Domestic Product grew by 9 percent last year, as it remained largely unperturbed by global recession.

The Asian country is expected to surpass Japan this year as the second largest economy in the world in terms of GDP. This comes as it emerged this week that trade between China and the continent was at US$91 billion in 2009, of which US$40 million was accounted for by imports from Africa.

Chinese Commerce Consular in charge of African Affairs Ms Xie Yajing said business with Africa would register significant growth this year particularly in agriculture, infrastructure development and finance facilities.

Chinahas over the past few years become one of Zimbabwe's largest trading partners, with the former importing tobacco, platinum and other minerals while the latter buys farming and mining machinery, industrial and agricultural chemicals and medicines, among other products. The Look East Policy adopted by Government a few years ago has yielded immense benefits to the economy.

Chinese investors have also exhibited growing interest in mining, agriculture, manufacturing and the retail sector, with delegations from that country visiting Zimbabwe to explore opportunities.

Ms Xie said China and Africa had developed win-win partnerships.

"We give no political conditions but give more attention to development to improve stability and foster economic development in Africa," she said.

Statistics show that China assisted more than 900 projects in 33 African countries last year, with new measures in its Africa policy set to focus more on agriculture, environmental protection, debt reduction, and climate change, among others.

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