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Government challenges private sector on BMS

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The government has challenged the private sector to get involved in the newly launched Buy Malawi Strategy that could help turn around the economic fortunes for the country.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Joseph Mwanamvekha, made the challenge during a private sector interface meeting with the ministry on Friday in Blantyre.

Mwanamvekha said the BMS is not a government project only.

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“I would like to challenge you as the private sector to get involved. This is not a government project. This is not just a campaign. Everyone else needs to be involved to make the Buy Malawian Strategy a success. We need the participation of the private sector in producing and offering quality goods. Together we need to create the Malawi Brand,” he said.

He further said it is a role of every Malawian to make the Buy Malawi Strategy work.

“We are all responsible for the management and performance of our economy and the Malawi kwacha is our currency. We all need to take part in growing our economy and building our country. No one else will do it on our behalf,” he said.

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Mwanamvekha said the strategy aims to achieve a mindset change and be part of an inherent culture to always value locally manufactured goods and services.

“To a certain extent, our lack of provision of quality goods and services is what has created the insatiable appetite for foreign goods and services in the mistaken belief that those foreign goods and services are of superior quality.

“We need to work hard to change that mind-set and make the Malawian consumer love goods and services that are offered by Malawian businesses,” he said.

Mwanamvekha said the BMS is significant in reducing the import bill and Malawi’s trade deficit.

“The savings that will be made in foreign exchange can then be directed to procurement of capital equipment, machinery, and vital raw materials which will boost export development and job creation. In essence, we will be sowing the seeds for the next generation,” said Mwanamvekha.

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) president Karl Chokotho said countries that have grown economically have done so under strict principles.

He said the strategy should not open a window for unfair competition.

“As the private sector, we would like to see companies getting orders not based on who knows who, but winning the tender on merit. Let us not abuse this opportunity. Industries are suffering because of unfair competition on the market,” said Chokotho.

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