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‘AfCFTA fully operational’

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James Chiutsi

The beginning of the new financial year on July 1 coincides with the official operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), with Malawi having already submitted its tariffs to the African Union (AU).

Ministry of Trade spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said immediately the tariffs were passed together with the budget, they were submitted to the AU under three categories.

Msokera said the first category is where tariffs have been reduced, the second is the one in which tariffs have not been removed but will be reviewed after 13 years while the last category is of products which have been excluded.

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“The tariffs are a market access offer by Malawi to member states that will be negotiating for the category which may be liberalised after 13 years and for the products which have not been liberalised which account for seven percent, and three percent respectively, of our products,” he said.

Speaking in an earlier interview, Malawi Confederation Chambers of Commerce and Industry President James Chimwaza said the local industry was ready for the commencement of trade.

“Some levies have been removed on some products and that is part of gearing up so that we are competitive and all sides are working to arrive at equilibrium and the budget proposal has addressed the competition of local products,” he said.

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Chamber for Small and Medium Businesses Executive Secretary James Chiutsi said they were also ready even though it will be a slow and gradual process, especially to make products competitive by adding value.

AfCFTA is an African market where 54 African member states will be trading among each other with reduced or removed taxes on certain products.

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