Traders with China remain optimistic

19 May 2020 | Business

Ndalimpinga Iita - Early this year, Maria Siegfried's venture of trading with items ordered online from China was at its peak.

"I had established a loyal clientele to whom I sold items. I had also built good business contacts with suppliers in China. Things were going well," said Siegfried, a young Namibian informal trader.

She is one of the micro-level transnational traders importing items from China for resale at a premium. Items are ordered online via platforms such as Alibaba and Ali Express. Then products are shipped to Namibia.

However, business dwindled after the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent stringent government measures to curtail the spread of the virus.

"Since the coronavirus outbreak, we encountered difficulties with the ordering of items from China," said Siegfried, who has been trading imported items from China for nearly five years.

According to her, the non-activity and operation brought business to a halt, incurring significant losses.

"Luckily, I had some items in stock that I advertised via social media, and eventually sold out," she said.


She also had to reimburse some clients' money. Ordering and procurement of goods was usually carried out based on an order from their customers. To make this simpler, traders typically need a deposit of 50% from customers for each order put. The deposit covers goods procurement and also serves as security.

However, with the ordering and shipment operations at a standstill, she could not deliver products to clients on time. As a result, some customers who paid a 50% deposit demanded their money back.

"Meanwhile, I had to put some orders on hold and informed clients that they would be updated when things improve. It was all about making customers understand the situation," she added.

She is not the only one. Ottilia Festus, a young Namibian who sold accessories, clothes and fashion items imported from China, joined the trade upon returning to Namibia from studies in China.

According to Festus, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted her business. She has endured many losses - not only income but also a client base. The Namibian borders remain closed, and most international flights still grounded.

"While we can order items online, the shipping companies and airline operations are restricted due to stringent safety and security measures. I had to pause transacting as we are not able to receive our goods promptly by air or at the port," Festus said.

Economic impact

Mally Likukela, a local economist and academic, said Covid-19 has adversely affected Namibia's import of goods from China.

Several Namibian small-medium enterprises and individual traders have been relying on China as a supplier for cheap goods, affecting their trade, according to Likukela.

Namport's operations were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and state of emergency.

Kavin Harry, an official at Namport, said its operational capacity in terms of cargo operations had been reduced by some 50%.

According to Harry, although shipping lines are still coming in, business is hampered by the rate at which service is being handled because they are only operating on one shift.

Reviving business

In the interim, the traders are optimistic about business prosperity once stringent measures are lifted.

These include cushioning the impact of Covid-19 and reviving business models.

Siegfried is repositioning her entrepreneurial venture.

"I am avidly following the news, especially on China and new developments, given that is my primary source of products," she said.

For Festus, she makes sure that she keeps in touch with clients during this period to maintain clientele relation. She also plans to boost her social media marketing strategy. - Nampa/Xinhua

Similar News


Company News In Breif

1 day - 02 June 2020 | Business

London Metal Exchange cancels events The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Monday it cancelled all of its events during the LME Week in London...

De Beers to shift diamond viewings from Botswana

2 days ago - 01 June 2020 | Business

Brian Benza - Global diamond giant, De Beers is working with Botswana's government to temporarily move viewings to places closer to international diamond centres, with...

Alrosa expects big drop in May sales

2 days ago - 01 June 2020 | Business

Polina Devitt - Russian diamond producer Alrosa expects its sales for May to total tens of million US dollars, down sharply from May 2019 but...

MTC most admired brand in Nam

2 days ago - 01 June 2020 | Business

Phillepus Uusiku - Massive investment, consistency, accessibility and giving clients an exceptional experience are some of the most important tools in transforming a product or...

The struggles of a small airline during coronavirus

2 days ago - 01 June 2020 | Business

Anne-Sophie Faivre le Cadre - Launching an airline in Africa is a notorious challenge in a continent and sector where opportunities are often crimped by...

Company news in brief

2 days ago - 01 June 2020 | Business

BAT SA to file lawsuitA raft of South African tobacco companies, activists and associations are seeking legal action over the ban on cigarette sales during...

Sea Flower Walvis Bay to employ 450

5 days ago - 29 May 2020 | Business

Staff Reporter - Sea Flower Pelagic Processing is forging ahead with its planned commissioning of a canning factory at their land-based processing plant in Walvis...

Company news in brief

5 days ago - 29 May 2020 | Business

‘SAA can still be saved with funding’South African Airways (SAA) can still be saved if it gets the necessary funding, the state-owned airline's administrators said,...

Zim gold miners get more export earnings in dollars

6 days ago - 28 May 2020 | Business

Zimbabwe will increase the proportion of US dollars gold miners can keep from their sales, the central bank's bullion-buying arm said yesterday, yielding to pressure...

Company news in brief

6 days ago - 28 May 2020 | Business

Woolworths’ coronavirus hit deepensSouth African retailer Woolworths yesterday scrapped its 2020 dividend and left a question mark over future payouts, with difficult trading conditions created...

Latest News

Over 120 lose jobs at...

4 hours ago | Labour

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUAbout 120 people lost their jobs yesterday after a fallout between Chinese-born business magnate Stina Wu and a subcontractor that labour inspectors found to...

The contest for hearts and...

4 hours ago | Opinion

Nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight, when everything remains seemingly unchanged.The above quote by...

Indemnity forms a matter of...

4 hours ago | Education

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKWith some learners expected to return to schools today, education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp says parents will have to trust that schools have...

Rastafarian sues for N$1.4m

4 hours ago | Justice

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEKA convict serving 35 years for murdering his girlfriend is suing prison authorities for N$1.4 million for cutting his hair.Petrus Fridel Frederik claims his...

No new stimulus package for...

4 hours ago | Health

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKGovernment will not offer new emergency income grants for residents of Walvis Bay whose town is back on lockdown for seven days after recording...

No statistics on Angolan learners...

4 hours ago | Education

ILENI NANDJATOEENHANAThe Ohangwena directorate of education is struggling to establish how many Angolan children attend school in the region.Regional education director Isak Hamatwi says the...

Herd rebuilding affects slaughtering

4 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK Livestock producers have started rebuilding their herds after the drought, and for that reason, the number of...

Exploring sustainable use of biomass

4 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK Biomass from Namibian encroacher bush could be turned into a valuable and climate-friendly export product. ...

Covid-19 cases remain at 25

4 hours ago | Health

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Namibia has remained steady at 25, according to deputy health minister Esther Muinjangue, who gave an...

Load More