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Malawi aims high at WTO meet in Nairobi

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Malawi last week took part in the 10th World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial conference, held in Nairobi, Kenya where discussions focused on trade integration and attraction of foreign direct investment were held.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Joseph Mwanamvekha, who led Malawi’s delegation to the conference , said participants also discussed issues of regional value chains; economic diversification and approaches to value-added economic activities and rights and obligations.

He said the Malawi delegation also took an opportunity to learn from other countries on how best to harvest the benefits of membership in the WTO.

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“We engaged other member countries on issues to do with dialogue between government and the private sector; doing business reforms and the importance of trade facilitation,” said Mwanamvekha.

“These are already part of Malawi’s trade and private sector reform package, which will further be enhanced following the lessons drawn from the Nairobi meeting,” said Mwanamvekha.

“We have learnt a lot from the meeting and as a country we stand to benefit from the conference, especially in the reforms sector,” he said.

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The Malawi delegation also attended side meetings which included the 4th China Round Table on WTO Accessions and the Multilateral Trading System which was held under the theme “Domestic Reforms for Competitiveness and Deeper Trade Integration in the Global Economy”.

According to Mwanamvekha, the objective of the China Round Table process was to relate the results of becoming a member of the WTO to the core objectives of domestic reforms aimed at improving the business enabling environment.

The meeting discussed rules governing the global trading system to support integration into the global economy, especially for developing countries.

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