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Experts dissect exports strategy

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Francis Gondwe

Some industry players say there is need for political will if the Malawi National Services Export Strategy (MNSES) is to be successful and contribute towards the national economic development.

This came out at the end of a validation workshop of the strategy on Wednesday in Blantyre.

The government, through the Ministry of Trade is in validating a draft strategy to be implemented between 2021 and 2026.

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The strategy projects that by 2026, Malawi shall become a competitive and visible exporter of value– adding and poverty-reducing labour with a robust tourism sector.

Among other things, it focuses on increasing supply of tradable services through increased production, value addition and competitiveness of Malawi’s labour and tourism industries, promotion of access to markets for services to make Malawi a visible and effective exporter and enhance economic sustainability and inclusivity.

Director of Trade in the Ministry, Clement Kumbemba, said government is establishing a department that would play and oversight role in developing and promoting trade in services.

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“Malawi is participating in regional and multilateral trade negotiations to unlock trade opportunities for goods and services. While Malawi’s services exports are relatively small, there is huge potential to grow,” Kumbemba said.

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) Chief Executive Officer, Francis Chinjoka Gondwe, said there is need to support means aimed at exporting labour such as the Accelerated Programme for Economic Integration (APEI).

He said the country should also focus on investing in buildings athletes, among other professionals, who would be groomed for export market.

In a separate interview, National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Head of Client Coverage, Wilkins Mijiga, said the country should search, settle on, establish and entrench the right Incentive structure and culture to improve services delivery.

“The Strategy has a lot of actions to be taken as precursors to its effectiveness including courage at the highest leadership levels to do the right things without regard to short term political pressures,” Mijiga said.

Currently services contribute about 52 percent to the GDP in Malawi.

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