Trade portal to address import, export barriers


Government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism will next week launch a trade portal as part of reforms aimed at easing the doing business environment in Malawi.

The launch has been scheduled for July 14 at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre and Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Joseph Mwanamvekha said the Trade Diagnostic Study (DTIS) Review conducted in 2012 revealed that there are a lot of challenges that business operators face in accessing trade related regulatory information prior to importation or exportation.

He said the portal aims to address such issues.


“Malawi has prioritised increasing transparency by including the introduction of a Trade Portal as outlined in the DTIS Action Matrix outlining the key priorities for reform.

“Malawi is also a founding member of the Accelerated Programme for Economic Integration (APEI), a coalition of like-minded countries (namely Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia, Seychelles and Malawi), aiming to reduce barriers to trade and the movement of people among them to reduce trade costs, increase trade and investment flows, diversify exports of goods and services and raise incomes,” he said.

Mwanamvekha said the Malawi Trade Portal is a tool which will enable Malawi fulfill its commitments under multilateral trade agreements.


“Many countries like Malaysia, Botswana, Bangladesh, Singapore and India are all implementing trade portals.

“The Trade Portal will be a website that contains all trade related regulatory information for import, export and transit trade. This information will comprise all laws, regulations and other legal instruments, all license and permit requirements, prohibitions, restrictions, technical standards, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, the entire commodity classification and tariffs, all procedures for licence/permit application and clearance, copies of all forms as well as plain language instructions,” said Mwanamvekha.

He further said the Portal is a logical first step towards the implementation of a National Single Window (NSW).

“The database contains the data structures which can be leveraged by the NSW to determine which permits or licences need to be issued by the various agencies and route the trader’s electronic application to the relevant parties,” he said.

The information on the Portal has been collected from all the agencies that carry out any control function in relation to import, export and transit control.

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