Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Joseph Mwanamvekha will on Thursday officially launch the Malawi Trade Portal at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
The Trade Portal, which is a one-stop website for trade-related regulatory information for import, export and transit trade, complements World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation, to which Malawi is a signatory, which obliges governments to be transparent and facilitate information to businesses.
In a statement released by the Principal Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Cliff Chiunda on Tuesday, the Trade Portal is part of Government’s initiative to turn Malawi into a producing and exporting country.
Chiunda said that Government has embarked on a drive to facilitate trade and investment and that the development and launch of the Trade Portal is aimed at providing easy access to trade-related regulatory information to traders and businesses in a bid to enhance transparency and accountability.
According to the statement, information that can be found on the Portal includes: all commercial laws and regulations governing import, export and transit of commercial goods, procedures and requirements for processing licenses and various permits, and the samples of these application forms that can be downloaded.
“The portal will inform traders on the legal requirements to be met as they import or export your goods. It will also alert traders about the duties, and other fees, or exemptions that are applicable.
“The portal also contains information on which goods are prohibited, restricted, and other non-tariff measures; the entire catalogue of applicable tariffs linked to commodity classification is also available,” reads the statement in part.
The portal will help reduce the time traders spend to get proper documentation to do trade, resulting in improved ease of doing business due to reduced trading time and cost.
The trade portal which has been developed with financial and technical assistance from the World Bank Group is expected to help improve Malawi’s rankings in World Bank’s Doing Business Index and the Global Competitiveness Index.
A short video documentary on the Malawi Trade Portal is available on YouTube through this link: https://youtu.be/ITqEs20vM2U or by simply searching: “Malawi Trade Portal 2016” on YouTube.