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Expert outlines export hurdles

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CHIMBALU—We are working with local exporters

Lack of knowledge, fear and sticking to traditional exports have been outlined as some of the major factors affecting Malawi’s capacity to broaden export base.

Shipping and clearing expert who is also Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Business and Logistics Consultants, Karl Chokotho, said failure to aggregate on volumes has also greatly impacted on the export volumes from Malawi over the years.

This came out during a three-day online exporters’ coaching on product certification organised by the Malawi Investment and Trade Center (MITC) which started on Tuesday.

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In response to an emailed questionnaire, Chokotho said there is a lot of fear in doing business especially in pioneering on exports by many business players.

He said instead, there is a lot of copying of businesses in Malawi compared to pioneering or simply finding alternative markets when competitors enter markets.

“Over 40 percent of our fruits and vegetables just go to rot, they are neither processed, stored or exported. Unit prices in foreign markets researched by Fortress Business and Logistics Consultants for fruits and vegetables show more profitability than selling locally,” Chokotho said.

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He said sometimes players have limited knowledge on exports market trends.

MITC Public Relations Manager, Deliby Chimbalu, said the initiative is part of capacity building activities aimed at assisting exporters to be fully compliant with international market requirements.

“We are pleased with the response that we have received from our colleagues in the export business. The attendance has been encouraging and we hope that the knowledge that is being shared on this platform will be used to further develop our exports as a country,” Chimbalu said.

The coaching sessions focused on export pricing, product certification, product branding and packaging.

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