Furniture maker hails Buy Malawi Strategy
One of Malawi’s fastest growing furniture making companies, Fadeth Furnishers, has hailed the recently launched Buy Malawi Strategy, describing it as “probably the most ambitious initiative supporting the private sector in significantly contributing to the economy”.
Fadeth Furnishers Managing Director, Richard Chirwa – whose company participated at the launch and had their pavilion visited by President Peter Mutharika, says the strategy is key to efforts of making Malawi economically independent.
“With strategies as good as this one Malawi can completely be turned around within a few years,” he said.
He said with Malawi estimated to be spending US$3 billion on imports every year on, increased buying of locally made goods and services can save the country billions of dollars in foreign exchange bills.
He said implementation of the strategy will create more revenue local enterprises hence growing their capacity in terms of machinery, infrastructure, skills development and staff base.
Chirwa also said increased buying of local products would lead to increased feedback which will in turn lead to improved production and general service delivery on the part of the local manufacturers and service providers.
Chirwa, however, advises fellow local entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their products and services as that is what will ultimately determine whether people choose their products or not.
He gave an example of the furniture industry, saying previously locally made furniture was generally of local quality and created a generic perception that all locally made furniture can never be good.
“When starting, Fadeth was met with this stereotype but we managed to prove ourselves to our customers. Now we are proud to say we are probably the best import alternative for home furniture and we are striving to achieve the same for office furniture,” he said.
He said people also need to understand that the strategy is a process and that not all the standards will be met overnight.
“Where ever a local product is sold but has somehow not satisfied a certain standard, condemnation should not be the resolution but positive feedback for improvement should be given,” he said.
He advised the government to make sure that it translates the strategy into action word by word and that special committees should be set up for each of the different industries so that the needs of each industry are looked into exclusively and that monitoring and evaluation is carried out singularly.