Darshan Chandaria wants African CEO's to unite in the battle against trade barriers

We spoke to the 31-year old on how Africa can grapple with an increasingly isolationist world.

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African companies are dawning to a new economic reality of anti-globalization where countries like Great Britain and the United States are increasingly drawing their attention inwards and diminishing foreign investments in favor of national development.

Many multinational companies are struggling to succeed in a world that is looking more inward than the previously open approach to business.

This burning issue was the subject of discussion at this year’s CEO Agenda Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Darshan Chandaria, CEO of  Chandaria Industries, East Africa's largest producer of tissue and hygiene products  was at the conference and acknowledged this to .

“What we are seeing is an anti-globalization movement. For instance, the EU has clubbed together to create a trading block. Companies have had a very isolationist view creating barriers to entry therefore blocking effective trade,” stated Mr Chandaria in an interview with Business Insider SSA.

This self-regularized and protectionist business climate presents a hard task for African companies if they want to compete globally.

Mr. Chandaria however said that African CEO’s have a big role to play in seeing how all stakeholders involved can benefit mutually.

“We should be looking at how there can be a mutual benefit for all stake holders involved, lets create policies around that. Let’s not shut our gates and say we can’t allow products from China, Asia or South America anymore,” said the 31-year old.

He added that Africa needs to be more open to free movement of goods and services whilst at the same time not being too conservative like the West.

“As stakeholders we need to see what would be the best way to ensure Africa does not suffer from the fight that the East and the West have been having over the last decade.”

“We need to be open-minded to the free movement of people, goods and services,” said Mr. Chandaria.

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