Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has urged the government to consider engaged its South African (SA) counterpart in a quest to ensure smooth flow of essential supplies for the local industry amid a lockdown effected there on Thursday last week.
South Africa affected a 21 day lockdown, restricting travel of people between the country and its trading partners due to the coronavirus.
In a statement titled ‘Private Sector Covid-19 Response Coordination’ MCCCI said the Malawi Government must ensure that at all times Malawi has adequate reserves for all imported essential items including fuel, drugs, and other critical supplies of goods and services through special bilateral arrangements.
“We expect the government to engage them (SA) diplomatically to ensure smooth flow of goods. Stabilisation of the supply chain is very critical to Malawi to ensure imported raw materials for industries are available and basic imported commodities do not run out,” reads the statement.
The chamber has since formed a taskforce on Coordinating Private Sector Response to Covid-19 which is expected to work with the government to ensure the impact is minimised.
Minister of Industry and Trade, Salim Bagus, Thursday said the government was yet to see the communication from MCCCI.