Ministry of Trade and Industry has begun to implement various strategies aimed at increasing export promotion, facilitation, and development in the country.
This was revealed on Wednesday at Parliament Building in Lilongwe when the Committee on Industry, Trade, and Tourism met Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) to discuss export projections and why they continue to be low.
Acting Director of Trade and Facilitation at MITC, Lovemore Ndege said various action points are being undertaken in order to address the lack of export culture, export challenges such as low productivity, and the malpractice of smuggling.
He hailed Malawi for fairing relatively well with exports in the range of US$ 1.2 billion (over K1.2 trillion) per year from products such as tobacco, grains, and horticulture in contrast to imports which are pegged at around US$ 2.1 billion (over K2.1 trillion )
“We need to have mega farms to address production issues, then ensure there is access to finances for exporters. We have resolved to also have our security agencies and customs authority work together to ensure that our borders and roads are being policed to curb smuggling.
“Am glad to report that Malawi Revenue Authority has created a law, that requires companies to export from bonded warehouses,” Ndege said.
The Acting Director highlighted that Malawi was set to begin the exportation of soybeans to China following the signing of a protocol.
“We are finalizing our vital sanitary procedures which means our unlimited tonnage of soybeans has to be free of non-soy bean material. China also sampled 4 of our warehouses that will be exporting, we are now waiting for approval to begin exports as we continue to negotiate for protocols of macadamia nuts, ground nuts, chili, ornamental fish, and sesame as well,” he said.
MITC lobbies the Government for more funding to fulfill their mandate of finding able markets with ease and asked for consideration to benefit from the country’s imports.
Chairperson for the committee, Member of Parliament for Kasungu North North East, Paul Nkhoma said timely intervention from the government would improve the export situation.
“We support the Export Promotion Act which has been at the Ministry of Justice for the last two years, MITC wants the introduction of a levy on their services so that they cease to be a subverted organization like other state-owned enterprises therefore,” he said.
According to MITC the markets with the greatest potential for Malawi’s exports of all products are South Africa, India, and the United States of America.