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Government says export trading firms in pipeline

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betchani tchereni,

Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe has said the government will soon establish export trading companies whose main focus will be to consolidate local agricultural produce for exports.

Gwengwe made the announcement on the side lines of the Minority Shareholders Association of Listed Companies launch in Blantyre last week.

Gwengwe said of late, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has been performing dismally in helping exports for the country hence the need to create other companies for exports.

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He added that trade mandates and legislations have already been put in place for the facilitation of the process for the establishment of the company so that they begin as soon as possible.

“We want now to see financing mechanisms to see if some of such companies are supported so that come next season we are able to prioritize selling of the commodities through Malawian owned export trading companies to complement the efforts which Admarc has.

“We have seen well organized export trading companies from outside Malawi coming here and moping our resources without Malawi benefiting therefore we will change the situation through establishment of our own companies,” he said.

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Malawi is an agrarian economy, highly dependent on exporting raw agricultural produce, with tobacco being the main foreign exchange earner.

Economists say the only solution to the country’s worsening foreign exchange situation is to widen the export base.

Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences-based economist Betchani Tchereni said the country should focus on value-addition to make its products be competitive.

“We need to have those mega farms and other big projects running as quick as possible and bring in the machinery that will process so that we offer finished goods and develop this country,” he said.

Figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi show that annually Malawi’s imports amount to $3 billion while the country’s exports amount to only $1 billion.

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