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Buy Malawi initiative faces hiccups

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Most local manufacturers are still importing packaging materials for their products, a development officials say is defeating the purpose of the Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS).

Principal Trade Officer in the Ministry of Trade Ezron Chirambo said this during a Buy Malawi sales promotion underway in Blantyre.

Chirambo said most local manufacturers were having difficulties to access packaging materials locally.

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“So we appeal to the local packaging industry to come together and listen to local manufacturers and see how they can work together to solve the problem. We are also working hard to change the mindset of Malawians so that they appreciate the importance of buying locally manufactured goods,” Chirambo said.

He then said buying locally-made products is one of the shortest ways of growing the country’s economy through job creation and generation of foreign currency through exports.

“That is why we are holding these kind of activities to create awareness among Malawians on what products are made in Malawi and where they can find them, suffice to say that since inception (of the BMS) we have seen that many shops are now stocking locally made products,” Chirambo said.

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One of the exhibitors Evelyn Kasawala from Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) said the event has assisted her and the organisation showcase various materials.

“Apart from showcasing products that are being made right in the country, we are also showing products which are made by people with disability so that Malawians know the potential that every Malawian has to contribute to the economy,” Kasawala said.

Grain Securities Limited Sales and Marketing Manager Fostino Kaswada called on Malawians to change their mindset locally made products.

“Most Malawians prefer to buy products from other countries which in many cases are of low quality as compared to locally made products; so, for us, we believe there is a need for a change of mindset,” Kaswada said.

Since its launch in mid- 2018, the BMS has increased awareness on local products and services.

The initiative has a membership of 106 companies from zero in 2018.

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