Government for trade fair review


Capital Hill authorities say they intend to engage the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) in dialogue for a review of how international trade fairs should be hosted.

Trade authorities in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism said this during a media briefing to do with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) that discussions are in progress with MCCCI officials.

“We expect change as to how they host the fairs for them to be in tandem with the idea of promotion of export and partnerships with foreign companies,” said the officials.


This follows news that the way trade fairs are held raise doubts as to whether they meet the intended purpose of clinching export business deals with foreign companies.

Times Business surveys have indicated that some exhibitors, especially locals, were in engaged in sales of different products, some of which were bought in foreign countries.

Some Blantyre-based captains of industry noted that trade fairs are supposed to be a place where local companies exchange business ideas with international companies.


But MCCCI Operations Officer, Chimwemwe Luhanga, said in an interview the main objective of the fair is not necessarily to promote business linkages but for others to sample products produced in Malawi.

He said trade fairs promote research, boost profile of companies besides promoting export business.

“When foreign exhibitors come to participate in the fair, they already have discussed deals. We are also mindful of the country’s economy that not every person can just go there and clinch deals,” he said.

Luhanga said Malawi should not be compared to other big economies as to how they hold international trade fairs because of the kind of economy.

He, however, said the body is willing to hear from them on the matter once approached because, as it stands, they are in the dark.

Malawi held its 29th International Trade Fair show between May 24 and June 4 2017 in Blantyre amid calls for Capital Hill to remove taxes on water and other basic amenities in the 2017/18 national budget.

MCCCI held the fair under the theme ‘Productivity: A Source of Export Competitiveness’.

The Malawi International Trade Fair (Mitf) was launched in 1987.

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