High Quality Chinese Goods in Demand Among Gazans
Wastco a customs clearance and support company in Guangzhou was founded by Nabil Abu Hashem has built a solid base that will facilitate the imports of goods from China to Gaza. The Chinese made goods are in high demand among Gazans due to the high quality and reasonable prices. Most of the commodities that are in high demand are garments, cosmetics and watches.
Wastco started its business with China in 1980 and started to import computers from China and selling them to the coastal Palestinian territory. Then when political and economic conditions in Gaza worsen after the violence erupted in 2000, Wastco moved its headquarters in China. Although the decision was a risk the company grew and got recognized. First they faced some difficulties dealing with Chinese businessman but became helpful and cooperative in the long run. Wastco manages to seal at least ten deals for Gaza traders every month.
Goods are usually shipped from China to the Israel seaport then into Gaza passing through Kerem Shalom crossing Israel and Gaza. But even wit the smooth process of getting and shipping goods into Gaza, problems still occurs. Importers in Gaza paying import tax to the Palestinian government for goods delivered through Kerem Shalom also needs to pay an additional tax to Hamas authorities in Gaza. The additional tax being paid already worsened the ailing marker in Gaza, that is why prices have skyrocketed. The Islamic Hamas movement have been ruling Gaza since it was seized in 2007 after forcing loyal forces of President Mahmoud Abbas to reroute and now ruling the West Bank.
Currently there are no official statistics on imports of goods from China to Gaza, but the media officer at the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce in Gaza estimates that around 50 percent of goods are imported into the Israeli territory coming from China. Chinese good are high in demand among Gazans since they can afford the prices and the quality is good, also around 2,000 Gaza traders are importing goods from abroad but faces challenges due to the embargo imposed on Gaza in 2007.