(CIIE) Feature: Cameroonian exhibitors look forward to a fruitful CIIE

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 8, 2023
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by Arison Tamfu

YAOUNDE, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Rose Marthe Mboumene Takam looks proudly at her merchandise exhibited inside and outside her shop in downtown Douala, the most populous city and commercial hub of Cameroon.

The store, one of the biggest in the city, sells household utensils, furniture, clothes, shoes and toys made from local materials.

In the early 2000s, Takam, then a struggling businesswoman, forged connections in China, and began traveling to the Asian nation to buy and sell goods.

"I have spent 15 years in China (doing business)," the 51-year-old told Xinhua as she packed the goods she intended to exhibit and sell at the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE), which is running from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai.

Takam is attending the expo for the fourth time.

"It (the expo) has helped me gain so much experience ... now that I am going to China, I know exactly what I am going to do. In all the expos that I have attended in America and Europe, the best has always been in China," the mother of two said.

Takam looks forward to exhibiting raw material and made-in-Cameroon products at the expo, but she is particularly keen on exhibiting beautifully wooden sculpted animals and oil from mahogany trees, which she said helps hair to grow faster and smooth out wrinkles from the face.

"The products are greatly in demand in China. When I go to Shanghai, I always return with a smile. When the Chinese realize that your products are natural, they will buy and our products are natural," she said. "China and Cameroon have good relations. The Chinese government is really advertising African products (via the expo), which makes many Chinese interested in our products."

In Nkongsamba, a town located roughly 150 km from Douala, Marsi Mpafe Djankou, one of many Cameroonians who have benefited from a close relationship with China, hopes that the CIIE in Shanghai would offer an important platform for the development of Cameroon forest products and push bilateral ties to a new high.

The researcher and businesswoman first attended the expo in 2019.

"I went there just to observe," she told Xinhua as she displayed a number of products she intended to exhibit at the expo.

"Many of them are forest products and they are products that embody us and our origins," she said.

Djankou runs a school that trains students in agro-pastoral production. She said being able to access the Chinese market helps ensure the well-being of thousands of families involved in the production chains, by adding added value to raw materials and also to her students.

"We are interested in looking for win-win partners. We have products that can be used in the pharmaceutical and health sectors. We want to go to China to look for partners who can enrich our research and help our students," she said.

"We want to work with partners who understand that we are Africans and that from our products, we can develop," she added.

As Takam and Djankou join hundreds of other Africans in Shanghai, they are upbeat about business opportunities and also believe that China's infinite market will be of great value to Cameroonian companies. Enditem

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