Malawi govt calls on supermarkets to buy products from SMEs

Government has called on  supermarkets to  link up with Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) for the supply of agricultural products and agro-processed products.

Director of Trade in the Ministry of Industry and Trade Christina Zakeyo Chatima made the call in Lilongwe during  awards presentation at the SME exhibition held at Game Store car park.

The two week exhibition was organised by National Association of SMEs (NASME).

At an exhibition for SMEs in Lilongwe
At an exhibition for SMEs in Lilongwe

Chatima said the market linkage will enable SMEs to have access to larger and sustainable markets thereby contributing positively to the country’s economy.

“SMEs are very important in developing the country, there is also potential of changing many lives and provide job opportunities once they are recognized by all stake holders on the market as a formidable force.

“What is left now is to work together on how best we can make them to offer high quality and value for money products,” said Chatima who also inspected chain store within the Game Compass.

Among others, she said government is negotiating a simplified trade regime to make customs documentation easier.

Chipiku Plus Lilongwe City Branch Manager Juy Ovchhani said there is need for government to assist SMEs to meet the demands on the market.

“We have the passion to be buying from them but we always have cases where SMEs take months to deliver our orders so we are left with no option but to look somewhere because we also have customers to satisfy,” he said.

The exhibition involved SMEs from Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi.

NASME Executive Director William Mwale said there is growth in business.

“All what remains now is for the banks to start recognizing SMEs and start assisting us with loans to grow,” he said.

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