Malawi is among countries that are far from competing with others on simplifying and digitising trade processes, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has said.
The Unctad analysis based on World Trade Organisation (WTO) data shows that Malawi is among the least developed countries (LDCs)that continue to face challenges to integrate into global supply chains.
The report shows that while developed economies have implemented the most trade facilitation measures, leading the global pack with an overall rate of 85.3 percent, the average implementation rates for LDCs and landlocked developing countries such as Malawi, are below the global average, at around 53 percent.
Reads the report in part: “Least developed countries have not been able to take full advantage of available trade facilitation features.
“This is in part due to persisting challenges related to weaker digital infrastructure and a lack of adequate legal framework to support cross-border data and documents exchanges.”
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Ministry of Trade spokesperson Mayeso Msokera admitted that trade between Malawi and other countries has been minimal, due to poor support infrastructure, weak connectivity, low production capacity and over dependence on primary commodities among others.
“Proper policies and digital infrastructure are very important in the country for the facilitation of trade,” he said.
Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in an earlier statement that trade continues to be undermined due to the country’s slowness to adopt digital technology in its trade and commerce procedures.
“Digitisation is no longer an option and Malawi should prepare itself to develop or adapt to digital infrastructure to support business development in Malawi,” reads the statement from the chamber.
Malawi has engaged in a number of initiatives such as National Export Strategy to boost trade.