Impact of Imported Chinese Furniture on The Local Furniture Sector in Arusha City, Tanzania: Focusing on the Strategies of Furniture-Makers for Using Indigenous Timber SpeciesImpact of Imported Chinese Furniture on The Local Furniture Sector in Arusha City, Tanzania: Focusing on the Strategies of Furniture-Makers for Using Indigenous Timber SpeciesAA10636379
47 , 2018-03 , The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
The aim of this paper is to elucidate the strategies used by Tanzanian furnituremakers to deal with price competition from Chinese imported furniture by examining the changes in the local use of timber, which is becoming scarce due to destructive harvesting. Chinese furniture flowing into Tanzania is not only of a fashionable design but it is also cheap because it is constructed from low-quality timber and alternative materials. Small-scale Tanzanian furniture-makers operate their business based on a face-visible relationship with customers who expect a certain quality from the craftsmen; therefore, it is often difficult for the furniture-makers to reduce costs by changing from high-quality hardwood to cheap softwood or alternative materials. Thus, maintaining a certain degree of quality by using hardwood while imitating the fashionable designs of Chinese furniture is an important way Tanzanian furnituremakers remain competitive with Chinese products. However, for these reasons, Tanzanian furniture-makers continue to use scarce hardwood, which indirectly promotes the influx of cheap, low-quality Chinese furniture.