Trade and Industry minister promotes use of local leather for security agencies to save forex

Minister of Trade and Industry Simplex Chithyoka Banda says government departments and agencies should promote use of local leather for the production of boots and shoes for state security agencies to save forex.
Chithyoka Banda has specifically told the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (SMEDI).
Speaking on Tuesday in Lilongwe during a meeting with MDF and SMEDI on the implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Order and Buy Malawi Strategy, Chithyola Banda said the initiative would save Malawi’s foreign exchange.
“The budget statement delivered in the National Assembly emphasised on the need for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to procure goods and services from local enterprises as part of the Buy Malawi Strategy.
” Being the policy holder on SMEs we are coordinating MSMEs’ access to institutional markets such as MDAs.
“The focus is on maximum utilisation of the Leather Design Studio in Blantyre to produce quality boots and shoes for the MDF and other government institutions.
“This will not only contribute towards the One Million Jobs creation but also save the country’s Forex,” Chithyola said.
MDF Commander, General Vincent Nundwe said maximum utilisation of the Leather Design Studio at Chatha in Blantyre would benefit all players involved.
“MDF procures a lot of uniforms, boots, shoes, food rations and other infrastructure projects within its establishments.
“Implementing of the MSME Order would go a long way in creating jobs and wealth for the people and saving our foreign exchange,” he said.
He said the partnership would make MDF a shinning MDA on implementation of the Buy Malawi Strategy.
SMEDI training manager Francis Mwamadi said the state-of-the-art Leather Design Studio imported from Italy complies with the European Union Standardization on shoe designing and so will satisfy needs of the MDF.

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