The growing construction sector seems to have led to an influx of cheaper electrical goods from China.
Inquiries in the local markets have revealed that no other business related to the construction sector has flourished in the last few years like that of electrical goods from China.
As a result, electrical accessories from other countries have disappeared from the shelves in most of the electrical shops, a fact acknowledged by at least three major retailers in Najma area.
“While most traders choose to import electrical goods and accessories from such countries as the United Kingdom, Japan and India some 15 years ago, nowadays imports from the such destinations are at a bare minimum in the region’s electrical goods markets,” said a long-timer in the electrical goods business, while recalling the inroads made by Chinese companies in the regional markets.
Chinese-made electrical goods began to make a dent in the country’s markets only in the beginning of the millennium and since then they have been sailing all along rather comfortably.
While the Chinese vs non-Chinese products ratio was something like 20:80 some 15 years ago, now it is the other way around. “In most retail shops it is something like 90:10,” said a veteran trader.
Attributing this remarkable advance made by the Chinese electrical goods in the region’s markets to several issues, the main one being obviously the cost factor, a prominent distributor said most contractors not only required economically viable products but also wanted the delivery of large quantities on time.
Electrical goods from China are always available in sufficient quantities in the regional markets and this helps contractors save considerable time which is otherwise spent on product hunt usually made during the execution of major projects, he said.
It is not only the electrical goods of the well-known brands developed in their manufacturing facilities in China that have flourished in the regional markets in recent times but also those from China’s own local brands.
“While high-yield customers, especially those constructing residential buildings for their own use prefer expensive and alternative options, mainly Japanese and UK products, the contractors undertaking institutional projects have no hesitation to using quality products from established companies that have manufacturing facilities in China,” said a supplier to many contracting houses.
While some of the reputable agencies and institutions instruct their contractors to use only electric goods adhering to stipulated quality standards and also sometimes ask to use only products developed in particular destinations, most others seek in their tenders only ‘quality products’, without specifying the countries of their origin. “Interestingly Chinese products have gained significantly from both the clauses,” said a trader.
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