By Mike Van Kamande
Minister of Trade and Industry Simplex Chithyola Banda says government will seriously look into concerns raised by private sector players that constricts trade and industry growth in the country.
Speaking on Thursday when he officially closed the two-day inaugural Malawi Exporters Awards in Lilongwe organised by Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC), Chithyola Banda said the country is lagging behind in trade balance and forex generation because it is failing to actualise ideas that can enhance trade and Industrialization.
“The private sector players feel poor aggregation and limited agro-processing infrastructure render Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) poorly positioned to lead in economic development through agro-processing. The ministry will liaise with ministries of agriculture and finance to facilitate aggregation and value addition in the agriculture sector.
“On policy considerations that should facilitate exports the ministry will continue consulting on the recommendations relating to export restrictions including working with ministry of agriculture on minimum farmgate prices,” Chithyola Banda said.
Food Empire marketing manager Beatrice Chibwana said government through ministry of trade and industry should provide a conducive environment to enable trade and industrialization thrive apart from helping in reducing cost of doing business.
MITC executive director Paul Kwengwere said government should work on recapitalising Admarc so that it is well positioned to facilitate aggregation and agro-processing.
“The private sector players have lamented on import and export bans that trigger price influxes, dependence on a few commodities for export, forex exchange limitations to manufacturers and delayed issuance of licences among others challenges,” he said.
He said the inaugural Malawi Exporters Awards aims at building a community of Malawian exporters to support one another, share thought leadership and best practices.