(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi Embassy in China has issued a warning for the Kingdom's businesspeople not to import goods through unregistered Chinese brokers.
The commercial attach in Beijing sent the warning to various chambers of commerce in the Kingdom, urging Saudi businesspeople to ensure the credibility and legality of Chinese broker offices.
The attach also advised Saudi importers to sign official contracts with Chinese companies or factories. The contract should clearly state which agency will issue the certificates required for exporting and importing, and the specifications and quantity of goods involved.
Saudi Arabia is China's top Arab trading partner, with total annual trade of 43 billion (SR 161 billion), followed by the United Arab Emirates with 25.69 billion (about SR 96 billion). It is projected that the volume of trade between the two countries will reach 60 billion (SR 225 billion) in 2015.
The attach also made it clear that a contract signed or sent on the Internet is not legal.
"An importing businessman should ensure that he is sending money to the bank account of the Chinese beneficiary agreed upon in the contract. The account number should not be changed except with an official letter signed by the beneficiary," the attach warned, adding that the beneficiary should have a permanent address and be registered at the Chinese Industry and Trade Affairs department.
The attach also stressed that Saudi businesspeople must ensure they receive the ordered goods in complete and good condition. If they fall victim to fraud in China, they must immediately contact their embassy and report the matter to a local police station.
A member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Saleem Al-Harbi, confirmed that some fake Chinese agencies were swindling foreign businesspeople.
"A Saudi businessman might order a certain product from a Chinese company and get a completely different product. This is a problem we face," Al-Harbi told Al-Eqtisadiah daily.
He said Saudi businesspeople should only deal with trustworthy companies because China, like many other countries, has its share of good and bad people.
He advised Saudi importers to open their own offices in China to verify the credibility of the Chinese firms they are dealing with and to monitor all transactions.