Blame game over shrinking exports
The government has engaged in a blame-game with private sector players over the country’s failure to harness export market opportunities.
Speaking during Times Exclusive programme on Times TV recently, Minister of Trade and Industry Mark Katsonga Phiri said most businesses have lost opportunities on the international market due to low quality.
“The problem we face is that not many players in the private sector, including small and medium entrepreneurs, take interest to penetrate international markets.
“We understand they lack enough funds to procure machinery but that is the reason we have the Export Development Fund,” Katsonga Phiri said.
But seasoned businessperson and proprietor of Mpatsa Holdings Limited, Jimmy Korea Mpatsa, said the starting point is for the authorities to come up with a system that empowers local producers.
“Lack of information is another setback. For example, as regards the South Sudan deal, many of the farmers in the country have not been reached with information regarding these export deals. The discussion is only in the cities of the country where not many farmers live,” Mpatsa said.
National Chairperson for the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises William Mwale said funding remains a major constraint to meeting international requirements.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) has called upon the local business community to patronise the Commonwealth Business Forum slated for June 21in Kigali, Rwanda, saying such events provide good platforms for networking and building business partnerships.
Mitc Chief Executive Officer Paul Kwengwere said the forum is expected to attract business captains from sectors such as finance, agriculture, tourism and health care among others.