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Industry upbeat as Covid cases ease

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James Chimwaza

The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) and the Malawi Tourism Council have asked the government to use the opportunity of a drop in Covid cases to rebuild business confidence.

For the past week, Malawi has seen a drop in both Covid cases and Covid-related deaths.

Speaking in an interview, MCCCI President James Chimwaza said the chamber was delighted that cases were dropping and hopes the trend continues.

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He said the chamber was still working on a document of recommendations to the government on how quickly business could recover from effects of the pandemic.

He urged industry players to continue following safety measures while advocating massive vaccination.

“We have seen that, for those that have been vaccinated, the situation has been better than those who have not. So, let us build up from what we have so that we maintain the current status,” he said.

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One of the industries which have been hit hard by the pandemic is the hospitality sector, whose players have registered losses, retrenched staff or put them on half pay.

Tourism Council Vice Board Chairperson Innocent Kaliati said the status points to a possible economic recovery.

“We hope that government will reopen the economy for tourism so that it does not fall. They can do this by putting measures such as allowing people to come for tourism only when they are fully vaccinated or when they produce a coronavirus negative test,” Kaliati said.

Ministry of Industry spokesperson Yamikani Kadzakumanja admitted that the manufacturing sector had been hit hard by the pandemic, mainly because most of their raw materials are imported.

He said the government was exploring measures of helping the industry and others sectors to recover.

“We are working with stakeholders, including Malawi Revenue Authority and Ministry of Finance, to improve fiscal measures such as the tax rebate system and other taxation measures,” he said.

 

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