Ministry of Trade says Malawi has received trade inquiries worth $165 million (about K133 billion) from South Sudan for various agricultural products.
In a written response, the ministry’s spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said the inquiries are on maize flour, groundnuts, sugar beans and rice, among others.
He said: “ Malawi is expected to export to South Sudan about 180 000 metric tonnes [MT] of maize flour.
“The MoU would certainly contribute towards increasing Malawi’s penetration into new markets, as well as the diversification of our export basket.”
Msokera said earning new export market objectives ranks top on the priorities of the country’s newly developed National Export Strategy II.
The development follows last month’s signing of a trade agreement between Malawi and South Sudan.
Apart from other products, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) will see Lilongwe exporting its surplus food to Juba to help ease a widening deficit of cereals and in return, South Sudan will export refined petroleum products to Malawi.
South Sudan Minister of Trade Kuol Athian Mawien, who signed the MoU on behalf of his government, revealed that his country is facing a record deficit of cereals estimated at 465 600 MT.
He said: “There is shortage of food in the country, and we have been importing from neighbouring countries, but our friends from Malawi government have seen our suffering and want to rescue us.”
Mawien said the South Sudan Government will soon issue Letters of Credit to South Sudanese traders to facilitate them to import food from Malawi.
Ministry of Trade figures show that Malawi’s exports to South Sudan in 2020 were estimated at $3million (about K2.4 billion) while imports were estimated at $15 585 (about K12.5 million).