National export strategy under review

The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) has said it is banking on the revised National Export Strategy (NES) for enhanced diversification which should help narrow the country’s trade deficit.

Mitc chief executive officer Clement Kumbemba told Business News on the sidelines of Mitc trade facilitation roundtable meeting in Blantyre on Thursday NES, which is currently under review, will focus on new products for diversification.

Kumbemba: I believe that one of these days we will be there

He said: “We are trying to divert producer attention from non-traditional to traditional products like herbs. Currently, we are looking at the NES which is being reviewed, we should have another one next year and we are focusing more on new on new products.

“We believe that to reduce the trade deficit is purely a question of proper organisation of production and minimising of quality issues that are there. Sometimes it’s a mockery that production is not there, we have lots of water and people who are ready to put their labour into use and I believe that one of these day, we will be there.”

Launched in December 2012 to run until 2018, the strategy, among others, sought to double Malawi’s exports value in five years. The NES (2013-2018) sought to increase the rate of growth of exports in value terms from nine percent per year between 2001 and 2011 to thirteen percent per year from 2013 to 2017.

It priotised export-oriented clusters for diversification of oil seeds products, sugar cane products and manufactures and hoped that if fully implemented.

Malawi’s trade pattern reveal a widening trade deficit and widening diversification, with figures showing that between 2009 and 2016, exports and imports increased by 159 percent and 245 percent, respectively, according to NSO.

In an interview with Business News earlier, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) chief executive officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira said introducing incentives into the no gone areas for industries and consulting concerned stakeholder before implementing government policies would help encourage economic diversification by industries.

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