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Namibian Youth keen on Imported Chinese Commodities

By Johanna Absalom

Windhoek — Trading imported Chinese retail commodities has become a popular means for Namibian youth to experiment with doing business and cultivate an entrepreneurship mindset.Selma Sheetekela, aged 25, has been selling clothes, bags, shoes and even extension hair, imported from China since May 2015.

With the local demand to achieve a unique and exclusive look on a steady rise, she saw an opportunity and decided to fill the gap.

For her, business started at first try, when a friend sent her items to test the market.
"My friend went for studies in China and saw the need to send a few items to test the market prospects at home. The items 'flew off the shelf.' We have not looked back since," she said.She is not alone. The popularity of Chinese goods drove Maria Gases into selling made-in-China clothes, accessories and bags, amongst others. "I want to diversify my income," said Gases.

With competition growing, however, the challenges now are how to offer unique, affordable but quality clothing and trending fashion accessories."What we pursue is fashion -- it presents an opportunity for income generation," Gases said. So far, business has been lucrative, and the young businesswomen are happy for having built a pool of loyal clients.

Although business is good, the consensus among them is that keep learning and familiarizing themselves with up-to-date market knowledge is a must."One needs to be well-versed in international and country trade rules, especially tax rules, for customs to get clearance," said Sheetekela.

One also needs to do thorough research. "You need to know what you want to import. It's important to do a market survey and have good and reliable suppliers back in China," added Gases.

While each trader has their own approach of doing business, "I make sure I import quality products. That's how your customers keep coming back," said Sheetekela.
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