Minister of Trade and Industry Mark Katsonga Phiri has said Malawi and other low income economic continue to face myriad challenges in their quest to reap the most of international trade agreements.
He said this in Geneva, Switzerland during the World Trade Organisation’s Twelve Ministerial Conference.
According to Katsonga, the challenges include preferential rules of origin, services, non tariff barriers, and special differential treatment.
He has since called upon the World Trade Organisation to look into the changes and help in address them for countries like Malawi to benefit from various trading partnership.
“Malawi calls on WTO Members to commit to the shared responsibility to identify and address the specific challenges that LDCs face in effectively using trade preferences. Towards that end, we urge WTO members to reinvigorate and strengthen the mandate of the Committee of Rules of Origin. It is important that rules of origin for LDCs should be fair, simple and adaptable,” he said.
He then asked the conference to make Visa processing simple and less costly, agree to the elimination of domestic support and export subsidies on cotton, and agree to reconstitute the Appellate Body and ensure promulgation of the necessary rules to build trust in the procedures and operation of the Appellate Body among others.
“Malawi appreciates the support the UNCTAD and the African Development Bank are providing to Malawi in developing e-trade eco-system. I wish to urge other development partners to consider supporting us in the e-trade development space,” he added.
Katsonga also congratulated Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as Director General for World Trade organisation.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.