Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) says the liberalised market system, which removed direct government grip of controls on the market, is hurting consumers as they deal with the market forces.
Cama executive director John Kapito was reacting to the Buy Malawi Strategy implementation where the Ministry of Industry said price and quality influence consumer demand for goods and services.
In an interview yesterday, he said the removal of government’s interventions in the market has left the consumer to manage issues of price and quality.
Kapito said: “These two, price and quality, influence how the consumer conducts himself. I don’t believe the Buy Malawi Strategy is a winning strategy at a time government has withdrawn its market responsibilities. This is a joke of a strategy unless if our industries have a cutting edge over imports.
“Unfortunately, it will take another million years to match the current product technologies being offered on the market. The global flow of goods on the market simply puts Malawi in an awkward situation.”
By accepting market liberalisation, Kapito said Malawi decided to be a net importer since the global producing industries enjoy economies of scale with well improved and developed technologies.
Ministry of Industry director of small and medium enterprises and registrar of cooperatives Wiskies Nkombezi last week argued that for a consumer to make a decision to buy a product, pricing and quality are primary issues.
He urged industries to adopt technologies aimed at reducing the cost of production that lowers pricing on quality products.
Nkombezi said: “When we talk about industrialisation, we implement it either through foreign direct investment or by building up small and medium enterprises on a bottom up approach so that they can also industrialise by ensuring their productive capacity is improved.
“The biggest issue that consumers are looking at is price, they want to buy these products at a competitive price which they can afford.”