Cameroonian retailers got into a heated debate and also exchanged punches with Chinese businessmen in Douala last week over what the former describes as unhealthy business practices.
Reports say Cameroonian traders in the Marche Chinois (Chinese Market) in Douala have been at loggerheads with Chinese businessmen for several months. They argue the Chinese who are expected to be wholesalers in the market are now engaged in retail sales.
“Chinese wholesalers sell goods to us at prices higher than what they charged their fellow countrymen for the same products. Worse still, they only sell goods to us when their countrymen must have bought to their satisfaction,” a Cameroonian trader complained.
Cameroonian traders also claim they are denied visas to travel to China to buy goods in large scale. They say embassy staff tells them they cannot be issued visas to travel to China to buy goods which Chinese businessmen already have on sale at the Marche Chinois; thereby obliging them to buy from people they are not comfortable with.
Going by French language daily, Le Jour, Chinese businessmen do not respect receipt regulations. “Their receipts do not have the address of the vendor, taxpayer number, company registration details, and they also do not indicate how much they deduct for Value Added Tax, VAT.
Over 100 Cameroonian traders signed a petition last week against the Chinese traders, requesting state officials to intervene and put an end to the conflict before it goes out of hand.