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90% of SMEs not registered

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By Bernard Mhone:

Over 90 percent of the country’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are not registered by the Registrar General, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) has said.

This was disclosed during an SME Industrial Workshop which MITC held in Mzuzu on Saturday.

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MITC said the development was contributing to low tax collection by the Malawi Revenue Authority.

MITC Director of Investment, Promotion and Facilitation, Joshua Nthakomwa, said most SMEs were afraid of paying the necessary taxes and fees.

“A lot of them don’t register probably because they don’t want the government to know who they are and start following them to pay certain fees.

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“Government is coming up with policies to enable SMEs to trade in a formal way to embrace them. In Tanzania, there are many SMEs in the formal sector,” Nthakomwa said.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (Smedi) Director of Business Information and Training, Edward Chilima, said, despite the importance of registering, most SMEs fail to register because of issues to do with finance.

Chilima said his institution was motivating SMEs by, among other thing, providing them with trainings on the benefits of registering.

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