It is sad to read all these negative comments about Nigeria where i come from. There are fraudstars everywhere and west africa is not an exception; the propensity may be higher, but it will be wrong to generalize. Foreign trade is fraught with lots of risks both from the buyer and sellers position. I have difficulties myself buying from suppliers who insist on Western Union or TT as means of payment. I favour the LC which guarantees some measure of safety to both the buyer and the seller. Does anyone know how i can verify a particular supplier before i send money using TT? Thank you guys.
I agree with the comments of all the other contributors about business experience in west africa.
I am from west africa and I have lived in the united states for 9 years now. I am now getting involved in import and export myself. Doing business in that part of the world can be compared to the "wild west" while you can do business successfully, you have to understand the business terrain by yourself and know the right people to go to. Unlike the west there are no robust government infrastructure to make things easy for a naive foreigner who does not know the market terrain or have the right contact... in a hungry country it takes people of honorable character not to take advantage of such. Africa like the rest of human society is not lacking in people of noble characters but usually these are not the type of people the average naive foreigner would encounter.
What you need astrobox is a trusted local partner you can do business with. I am looking for business opportunities myself and if you think what you got can move lets talk about it.
One fact all the other commentators would not deny however is that as "bad" as the west african market is, it is still foreigners who make the most money out of that market, for decades indians have found the african market very lucrative, not to mention lebanese and in more recent times, european cellphone companies. Of course the big oil companies have been milking the continent for ages now. one personal visit to lagos would reveal to you how the chinese and koreans are taking over the market there.
I currently reside in houston Texas but I may be visiting China pretty soon for trade purposes. I am looking for good business opportunities and reliable global contacts. If you are interested you can send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Like we all know, business is a risk. In Nigeria just like in other countries all over the world, there are scammers and there are also a lot of genuine business people who are ready to entrust 100% of their money to people to do business as well, they too get scammed by other people all over the world. I talk more about Nigeria because I am Nigereian and have been in business for 10 years, my company has done business with other countries, China inclusive for more than 6 years. There are a lot of business opportunities in Nigeria . But like with any other business transactions with any other country in the world, you have to take precautions and follow your instincts.
You need to locate business partners who are distributors or interested in your kind of product. You don't need a contract with the government.
Good luck in 2010
Mrs Femi Ogunwumi