Middle East importers banking on China to survive inflation: survey

May 26th, 2008 - 10:26 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, May 26 (IANS) A vast majority of importers in the Middle East countries will increase their purchases from China in order to survive the raging region-wide inflation, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted by Global Sources, a trade publisher and organizer of the China Sourcing Fair exhibition, to be held here June 9-11, found that 96 percent of the buyers in the region would buy more of their products from China in the coming 12 months in order to remain competitive and to fight rising costs.

The Middle East, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, has been affected by skyrocketing inflation due to the falling US dollar.

Except for Kuwait, the currencies of the remaining five GCC countries - Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - are pegged to the US greenback.

The survey found that 73 percent of the buyers have been negatively affected by the recent inflation, according to a statement issued by Global Sources.

While 57 percent of the importers said that they have already started buying more products from China to combat inflation, 37 percent said that their companies planned to increase purchasing from China over the next year.

“China is seen as a refuge, as inflation in the Middle East has negatively impacted wholesale buyers and increased the cost of the products they put on their shelves,” Bill Janeri, Middle East general manager of Global Sources, said in the statement.

According to Global Sources, the importers surveyed were not ‘newbies’ either as “86 percent of the survey respondents have been importing or trading for up to 10 years or more”.

The survey covered a universe of 5,199 importers, buyers and traders throughout the Middle East.

“A hefty 67 percent of these buyers indicated that they are currently buying from China manufacturers across a variety of product categories,” the statement said, adding that 95 percent of the respondents said Chinese manufacturers would get a greater percentage of their overall product purchases in the next 12 months.

“Thirty-five percent of buyers indicated they would purchase anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent of their entire product catalogue from China. That means buyers in the Middle East will rely on China suppliers to contribute significantly to their overall product mix in the coming year,” Janeri said.

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