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The Chinese COVID-19 pandemic caused significant economic challenges in Kenya, resulting in the closure of many businesses. Unfortunately, just as the situation seemed to be improving, a new issue has arisen for local traders in the form of an influx of Chinese retail traders. This is particularly concerning given the presence of China Square in Roysambu, Nairobi. While some Kenyan shoppers appreciate the availability of cheap products, the increasing number of Chinese traders is having a detrimental effect on local businesses as they struggle to compete with the Chinese traders’ low prices. This raises serious questions about how the Chinese are able to offer such affordable goods while local traders cannot.

This begs the question; what are the Chinese traders doing to give them such an edge? How are they able to sell products so cheaply, while local manufacturers can’t? Furthermore, why are they allowed to do retail trade dealing on Chinese imports only? What happens to the local manufacturers and their staff?

It is clear that something must be done to protect the local businesses, and the best solution may be for China Square to be closed after the clearance of current stock. This will allow local traders to regain their foothold in the market, and give them a chance to compete on a level playing field. In addition, Chinese investors should be encouraged to invest in local manufacturing, in order to create more jobs and boost the local economy.

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