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Malawi Investment and Trade Centre working on export strategies

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In order to mitigate some of the problems hindering the promotion of investments and exports in the country, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) has said it is finding ways to improve access to market information.

Despite the low exports, Malawi is sitting on a huge export market of up to $9 billion as countries around the world are demanding a wide range of agricultural commodities according to Auction Holdings Commodities Exchange (AHCX).

MITC organised a seminar on Thursday in Lilongwe in order to find means of eradicating the challenge.

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MITC Chief Executive Officer Clement Kumbemba said there is need to increase the country’s agriculture exports through diversification of export commodities.

“Our aim is to promote value added products for exports. We want to increase agro-processing and value addition of exports primarily to Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa,” he said.

Director of Administration and Finance in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Joseph Mkandawire said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should network in order to qualify for the international market.

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“Networking is very important because in any case, there are some factors that hinder SMEs to export their products. Sometimes low volumes may hinder them to meet international market requirements and working as a group, makes people fulfill the orders,” he said.

Even though a National Export Strategy (NES) was launched five years ago aimed at providing strategic direction to boost value addition and exportation of strategic crops like sugarcane, beans, rice, cotton and groundnuts nothing a lot still needs to be done to diversify Malawi’s export base.

The country’s exports last year were at almost $1.5 billion but tobacco continued to dominate at a value of $750 million

The meeting brought together prospective exporters, financial institutions, trade facilitating agencies, among others.

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