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EU drills private sector on trade negotiations

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The European Union (EU) last week trained local industry players on best practices for formulation, negotiation and implementation of bilateral and regional trade agreements.

Knowledge acquired would help the private sector to clinch best deals with foreign counterparts.

The EU delegation, through a consulting firm, Cowi Belgium SPRL, is supporting Malawi in building the capacity on negotiation and implementation of bilateral and regional trade agreements.

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It is targeting trade deals in line with the Economic Partnership Agreement, Africa Continental Free Trade Area, the Tripartite Free Trade Area, the Southern Africa Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Spokesperson in the ministry, Mayeso Msokera, said trade negotiations are complex and broad, requiring technical expertise and analytical skills.

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“It is, therefore, our expectation that the workshop has provided the country’s trade negotiators the necessary tools and techniques needed for the effective management of future bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.

“This will enable Malawi to harness the full benefits from the trade agreements that the country will be negotiating as well as re-negotiating,” Msokera said.

One of the participants, who is also Head of Programmes and Research at Nasfam, Richard Petautchere, said the training workshop was timely.

“It has enhanced our capacity to contribute meaningfully to preparations for future international trade negotiations,” Petautchere said.

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