If you’re a Cape Verdean entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur, big business or small business, you’re biggest, most gigantic, incredibly frightening obstacle, impediment, hindrance, barrier to commerce in Cape Verde is Customs Of Cape Verde.
CUSTOMS OF CAPE VERDE HAS BECOME AN ENEMY OF ITS OWN PEOPLE AND THE GREATEST ALLY FOR FOREIGN BUSINESS, SPECIFICALLY FOR THE CHINESE.
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On one hand Cape Verdeans can pay tariffs, that theoretically start at 30% for imports, but generally range within 70% to 200% of the product(s) value and at times more. Whereas on the other hand, for example, the Chinese pay none to a symbolic fraction to take their imports out of Customs of Cape Verde.
As you can clearly deduce this puts Cape Verdean commerce people at an incredible, overwhelming, insurmountable disadvantage to their counterparts, the Chinese.
Customs of Cape Verde is the obvious, but not sole, culprit in the fact that Cape Verdean owned commerce has been decimated since the mass commerce immigration of the Chinese to Cape Verde starting in the late 90’s to early 2000’s and rapidly increasing with each passing day.
CAPE VERDEAN COMMERCE PEOPLE CAN’T COMPETE, THEY ARE DOOMED TO FAILURE GIVEN THE FACT THAT THEY CAN NEVER PUT THEIR PRODUCT ON THE MARKET AT A PRICE THAT CAN COME CLOSE TO COMPETING WITH THE CHINESE.
The Chinese commerce people are no brighter than the Cape Verdean commerce people. That’s out of the question, and vice versa.
WHAT IS IT THEN?
It’s the simple fact that the Chinese arrive in Cape Verde with goods that are extremely lower in price, and quality, combined with Customs of Cape Verde exemptions and subsidies from their Chinese government. That’s how they win! No Cape Verdean can compete with that? They can’t!
You may say, why doesn’t the Cape Verdean compete with the Chinese on quality since they can’t compete with them on price? Well, the Cape Verdean can’t compete with them on any level, price or quality, because the high tariffs practically prohibit them from competing in the commerce of their own country. Yes, the tariffs are that exuberant.
This is how impossible it is for Chinese businesses to fail in Cape Verde. You can walk for a half a mile in Cape Verde on the same street and every building’s first floor is a Chinese store. They all sell pretty much the same thing, for the same price, and yet they all thrive.
By the way, this is the case in Cape Verdes capital city, Praia, in São Vicente’s capital, Mindelo and pretty much in every city in Cape Verde where commerce is practiced.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
CAPE VERDE’S COMMERCE PEOPLE ARE AT INCREDIBLE COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE TO THE CHINESE, THAT CAN BE LEVELED. IT ONLY REQUIRES POLITICAL WILL.
The Cape Verdean government can not take away the commerce advantage that they have given the Chinese due to bilateral agreements that they have incredulously signed with the Chinese government.
The rescinding of the Cape Verdean government on such agreements would plunge Cape Verde into chaos in every possible way. For example, the Chinese government could withhold financing, prohibit imports from China, demand instant loan repayments, etc. Such measures would devastated Cape Verde…instantly! The Chinese sway that much force over Cape Verde, incase you did not know.
SO, WHAT THEN?
The government of Cape Verde can give to Cape Verdeans, via Customs of Cape Verde, which is government owned, the same import exemptions that they give to the Chinese.
By doing so this would drastically improve the possibility of Cape Verdean commerce people competing in the commerce industry of their own country.
WITH SUCH EXEMPTIONS, CAPE VERDEANS WOULD BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO IMPORT FROM THE EU, USA AND EVEN CHINA. CAPE VERDEAN OWNED BUSINESSES WOULD THRIVE ONCE RELINQUISHED FROM EXUBERANT CUSTOM DUTY OBLIGATIONS IMPOSED BY THE CAPE VERDEAN GOVERNMENT.
This would be the beginning of a leveled and competitive commerce field in Cape Verde. Cape Verdeans would then begin to see the light of day and the Chinese would then begin to see what it is like to compete in a Cape Verdean market that is not monopolized by them.
Folks, change can be implemented that fast, with the stroke of a pen in Cape Verde’s parliament building in the capital city of Praia.
Cape Verdean politicians, in the comfort of their parliament building, built by the Chinese, where they can pass laws, laws that benefit Cape Verdean commerce, the livelihood of their very own people, however, that does not seem to be on the agenda. A terrible plight, indeed!
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE
The Chinese began infiltrating the commerce market in Cape Verde just about 20 years ago and now they are looking to conquer every aspect of it. They have conquered Cape Verde’s commerce in clothing, shoes, toys, jewelry, etc, and now they are making fast gains on supermarkets, aluminum, pharmaceuticals and whatsoever they yearn for.
With no government protection, no industry is out of reach for the Chinese so long as the Cape Verdean government keeps consenting to their every demand without regulations or limitations so long as they build them a parliament building, a road or a stadium…by the way, all of the aforementioned the Chinese government have built in Cape Verde.
Howard W. French is the author of the book, China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa. Howard W. French is a prize-winning investigative journalist and former New York Times bureau chief in Africa and China. French’s acute observations offer illuminating insight into the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: Why China is making these cultural and economic incursions into the continent; what Africa’s role is in this equation; and what the ramifications for both parties and their people—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future.
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