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Buy Malawi Strategy key to narrowing trade deficit

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The Ministry of Trade has said consuming local products could be key in improving Malawi’s trade balance statistics.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Trade Christina Zakeyo was speaking on the sidelines of a Buy Malawi Independence Celebration Promotion held at Gateway Mall in Lilongwe.

Zakeyo said, through consuming locally produced products, Malawi could ease pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

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“We, as a ministry, are always emphasising that not anything imported is of high quality. Our products are even of superior quality to some of the things we are importing,” Zakeyo said.

She said she was impressed with the quality of products displayed by exhibitors.

“Honestly speaking am very impressed with the quality of products on display. It shows that our producers are very cautious when it comes to quality.

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“I therefore urge Malawians to consume local products so that we can save the forex we have for the purchase of essential commodities which we don’t produce locally,” Zakeyo said.

She added that government recently signed a deal with South Sudan which would see many locally produced items finding a market in that country.

Buy Malawi Strategy Vic Chairperson Beatrice Makwenda said Malawians are beginning to appreciate and enjoy locally produced items.

Makwenda urged local producers to up their production capacities so that their products are always readily available on the shelves.

“The biggest problem has been continuity of supply. Now that Malawians are beginning to appreciate that locally produced items are equally of quality, it is incumbent upon the producers to ensure that the goods are readily available at all times,” Makwenda said.

In its latest Malawi Economic Monitor, the World Bank says Malawi’s trade deficit grew by eight percent in 2020, from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $ 2.1 billion.

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