Mapeto (DWSM) Limited has pleaded with government to find trade solutions to the manufacturing sector which is heavily affected by unfair competition that destabilises growth.
General manager for Mapeto, Martin Mpata said when President Peter Mutharika inaugurated the K3.9 billion ($8.7 million) high-tech weaving looms at Makata Industrial Site in Blantyre with a pledge to deal with challenges facing the manufacturing industry.
“This is a liberalised era and we are aware of World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations that govern liberalised trade and promotion of fair trade. Regrettably, trade liberalisation is not practised fairly by most countries that champion the same.
“We humbly call upon your government to consider employing trade remedies, wherever appropriate, to level the playing field between foreign trade and domestic producers to ensure that domestic producers and employment are protected from the unfair trade, unfair competition or potentially damaging surges,” urged Mpata.<
Mapeto Group of Companies chairperson, Faizal Latif, said commissioning of the high-tech weaving looms was the beginning of their dreams and desire as they intend to overhaul the spinning plant to complement the looms.
He said: “We also want to invest in towelling and bandage production. Should the trading environment be pleasant, we will go for six more different industries.”
In his remarks Mutharika, who toured the new manufacturing facilities, commended Maeto for investing in the new machinery and in value addition which, he noted, would increase production capacity and improve products’ quality and standards.
Mutharika said Mapeto’s efforts were supportive of his government’s agenda on industry and trade which seek to promote manufacturing, value addition and diversification from the traditional foreign exchange earners such as tobacco, tea, coffee and sugar to other products such as cotton and cotton products.
“These efforts are also crucial for employment creation, foreign exchange generation, thereby uplifting the lives of the majority of Malawians in the country,” he said.
Malawi government is undertaking various programmes to deal with challenges facing the manufacturing sector such as inadequate energy and water supply for industrial use, influx of cheap smuggled products, high costs of borrowing and transportation, according to the President.