The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) has disclosed that trade imbalance increased from about USD -1.3 billion in 2010 to an estimated USD-2.2 billion in 2020, representing a worsening increase of about 72 percent.
The newly appointed MITC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Paul Kwengwere, says this means that Malawi’s appetite for imports has been growing more than the country’s ability to export over that period.
Kwengwere made the sentiments at the Capital Hotel in Lilongwe on Tuesday during a day-long training for exporters.
The training was aimed at equipping the exporters with knowledge and experience in three topical areas, namely product pricing, international trade logistics and contract negotiations, which are within the mandate of export development and building export readiness.
In his remarks, Kwengwere said Malawi has, over the years, been experiencing a negative and ever-widening trade balance– the difference between export and imports of goods and services.
He said MITC is working towards reversing this trend.
“However, reversing this trend requires concerted efforts by all key players, including capacity building. This is why we at MITC always do partner with you to address some of the technical capacity constraints pertaining to international trade. MITC organizes trainings of this nature with the aim of capacitating our clients, both existing and potential with the aim of building a pool of capable and competitive exporters ready to make inroads on the international market. For this reason, we are always excited to see so many businesses, including SMEs, taking part in our training workshops,” he said.
Kwengwere added that the export business can be challenging, not only because of the otherwise cumbersome procedures and documentations, but also because of the intense competition from international rivals.
He therefore challenged the exporters to do all things right and efficiently in order to stand the competition.
“It is therefore my hope, that you will find this training workshop very useful in your conduct of international trade. Let me urge each one of us to participate actively throughout the sessions. Our experts will be as practical as possible, so that this training does not just pass as an academic exercise. So, be free to ask questions where you are not clear. But above all, make sure you take home at least something that you can practically apply in your export business. We will at some point in future come back to you to find out how you have applied the knowledge in your businesses and the benefits,” he said.
MITC Board Chairperson Karl Chokhotho appealed to players in the cross-border trade to always work with the Centre in addressing barriers to export trade.
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