Mon, 10 May 2021

NAIROBI, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Ease in accessing goods, innovation and technology, stability, competitive pricing of products and low cost of doing business have helped sustain economic growth in China despite the severe effects of COVID-19, Kenyan analysts praised China's robust economy recovery during Spring Festival.

Kennedy Rutere, lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya said China wins against many other countries across the globe with its favorable policies, making it the preferred source of goods.

He noted that the consumption boom during the week-long Spring Festival holiday in China heralds a bullish start to the Year of the Ox for China's economy. The robust consumer spending is a good manifestation of China's effective epidemic control and prevention on a regular basis as well as bullish recovery of the economy.

According to the latest statistics, China's consumer spending during the Spring Festival (February 11-17) surged noticeably, with the combined sales of retail and catering enterprises rising 4.9 percent from the Spring Festival in 2019 to 821 billion yuan (127 billion U.S. dollars) this year.

"China's competitive pricing of products enables millions of people around the world to access affordable and quality goods, from apparel to electronics. The cost of doing business in China is also admirably low," he told Xinhua.

According to Rutere, who is also an electronics goods importer, Chinese business people are also honest, a trait that helps draw businesspersons to the country.

"This means for me as an importer, I am able to be 100 percent sure that what I order from a manufacturer will be delivered as per the specifications," he observed.

China's economy grew 2.3 percent in 2020 despite the downsides of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is expected to rebound 8.4 percent this year, according to forecasts from China's Ministry of Commerce, thanks to Beijing's strong response to the pandemic.

Rutere credits the growth to the policies introduced by the Chinese Communist Party and its leadership.

"The party has led in marketing China, which has turned the perception of the world from the country being regarded as a manufacturer of substandard goods to a global source of products," he said.

Beatrice Matiri-Maisori, a China-Africa international business and trade consultant, described China's economy as resilient and stable despite the pandemic effects.

She identified vibrant use of e-commerce as one of the things that have helped position China as a major source of goods.

"China is setting pace and driving advances in e-commerce, health, technology and innovation in electric cars, artificial intelligence, robotics and space craft industries. By far the biggest driver of the world economic growth is going to be China," Matiri told Xinhua.

She said a growing and strong SME and industrial base in China means more job creation and livelihood opportunities.

According to the expert, China's continued opening-up and foreign direct investments (FDI) abroad means greater trade flows not just from China but from other countries in the world.

She said a stable, strong and superior Chinese economy means wealth to cater for not just the 1.4 billion population of China but the greater world through imports from other countries to satisfy China's booming consumer market," Matiri said.

The growth of the Chinese economy comes with major benefits for Africa, according to Rutere.

"If you go to cities and rural towns in Africa, there are booming micro and small-scale traders. Most of the merchandise these traders are selling has been imported from China. Therefore, China is directly facilitating small businesses in Africa. These are the businesses that provide significant employment opportunities in terms of numbers," he observed.

The university lecturer added that China has advanced loans and grants to many African countries, enabling them to invest in massive infrastructure projects, which are opening areas that were previously not economically active.

"The roads and railways are also easing the cost of doing business," he said.

The current economic growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic, said Rutere, is a good example to Africa that an economy can grow in the midst of internal and external shocks.

"What is needed are the right policies, discipline and consistency in the implementation of those policies. For instance, Africa needs to invest in cheaper sources of electricity so that manufactured goods can be competitive in the regional and global markets," he said.

"Chinese people are able to plan long-term. But in Africa, most policies do not survive a five-year election cycle," he added.

For Kenya, Rutere noted the country should increase the volume of fruits, vegetables, coffee and tea that it sells to China.

"We should partner with Chinese manufacturers so that they can outsource their manufacturing from Kenya, which will result in a massive increase in employment opportunities," he said.

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