Bear with me on this topic....
There is plenty debate in Dominica about the role of the Chinese in unfair business practices (I swear I laughed a little when I wrote that...like there is some ethical business model as standard).
The Dominican merchant most affected by the Chinese, like every other merchant of their type in the Caribbean operates on the import and sell with margin model. It is the essential playbook of capitalism that we all practice if we sell commodities we do not produce or manufacture.
Many of us import goods from China, amongst other manufacturing countries where they produce cheap and in bulk.
At the same time there has been a constant ‘im cheap, im good’ message trumpeted in Dominica. Before the Chinese community came along with their import advantages, some of the existing top of the heap merchants operated on the same principles.
Dominicans became addicted to cheap. Quality and service are almost dirty words, and as such it was the perfect market for the Chinese merchant to sell into. As such I can understand the Chinese being puzzled about what is going on. They can see that this is a cheap price is king market. And they can see how the existing powerhouses in general (and there are notable exceptions), have treated the consumer base.
What is there to be loyal to and what is the business community complaining about ?
The average Dominican cant even return a defective purchase in a couple hours, much less days. Now, if the market was built on quality, then the Chinese would find a niche, but not dominate. But as people did before them, so now the Chinese are doing. They are putting serious pressure on any operation which depended solely on price.
As for the consumer, my personal policy is simple. If you treat me like you despise me, I wont buy your product. So if consumers in Dominica buy from people who don’t patronize any of their own services in turn, who don’t have any respect for them, and yet get fat on their patronage, then its unfortunately your problem, not the merchant, whoever they are. So stop harping on about the Chinese and start to understand that everything has its eventual price.
The consumer has had their hand in creating this.
Ironically, the people who got the consumer addicted to cheap imports, can now only turn to quality and service to differentiate. So maybe we might have a renaissance. You cant turn back the clock. The Chinese will always be the cheapest. Maybe tomorrow they might get into frozen goods or your business sector whoever they are. What I do know is that the people who have been doing this for years with the constant diet of make me rich and get out of my face, cant turn around now and pretend to be indignant, when the Chinese merchants are making ground . Its just a cycle of a type of capitalism in the region. Come purchase from me but don’t expect me to be nice to you.
What goes around, comes around.