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Chamber looks at ending jobs deficit

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The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has indicated that, in the absence of significant value-adding activities, Malawi will continue to be reduced to a net exporter of jobs to the rest of the world.

The chamber says this necessitates a shift for the economy to adopt a more export-oriented industrialisation as a basis for achieving trade competitiveness.

MCCCI, speaking through its Head of Communications, Milly Kasunda, said trade and economic policies must now work to speed up the industrialisation process to propel exportation of high value processed goods.

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“Industrialisation is, therefore, fundamental to attain trade competitiveness for the Malawi economy. Value added exports have a higher turnover than primary products.

“Unfortunately, the country has historically experienced worsening trade balances inevitably due to exportation of unprocessed primary commodities. As a result, Malawi’s economic growth pattern has been unsustainable,” she said.

And, with Malawi being largely import dependent and following balance of payments deficit, local products are seen to be uncompetitive on the international market.

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MCCCI will lead the nation in observing the 30th Malawi International Trade Fair (Mitf) and Kasunda said the chamber’s interest during the Mitf will be to advocate accelerating the process of industrialisation.

The trade show is expected to be held from May 24 to June 3 at the Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds in Blantyre.

Among others, international exhibitors will include Port Operations from Mozambique, Ministry of SMEs-Government from Zimbabwe, Tan Trade and Tanzania Port Authority from Tanzania and the Indian High Commission, which will provide information on business opportunities available in that country.

According to Kasunda, a catalogue of the exhibitors will be published and distributed strategically to allow business executives to effectively plan their visit to the International Trade Fair and easily locate the pavilions.

Over the period of the trade fair, Kasunda said, MCCCI has planned different events including a working business dinner, appearances by ambassadors and high commissioners resident in Malawi, Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Group match making-meetings and business workshops.

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