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Malawi, South Sudan share exports ideas

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Leonard Chimwaza

A meeting comprising a delegation from South Sudan and Malawi’s Ministry of Trade has revealed gaps that need to be filled if export and import trade between the two countries is to flourish.

Malawi hosted a delegation from South Sudan from January 26 to February 1 this year as a follow-up to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on trade and economic cooperation between the two governments last year.

According to the Ministry of Trade, the visit was meant to establish the number of supplies and quality of maize flour and rice by Malawian producers.

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It was also meant to sign an MoU between Malawi Bureau of Standards and the National Bureau of Standards of the Republic of South Sudan on standardisation, metrology and quality assurance and to interface with the private sector on business opportunities available in both countries.

During the meeting, it was discovered that while food processing facilities and equipment are up to standard, logistics was identified as one of the areas that need improvement and there is need for aggressiveness from the private sector on both sides.

“Both countries urge the private sector to seriously consider trading with each other under the MoU as a stepping stone for expanding exports under the African Continental Free Trade Area,” reads a statement from the ministry.

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Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry President James Chimwaza said Malawi has the capacity to export agricultural products but there is a need for to focus on cooperatives.

“The immediate thing to do is to organise our national assets, which are the people and the land, then support them with enough capital and expertise so that they produce products that have quality,” he said.

Malawi and South Sudan signed a trade deal as part of African Continental Free Trade Area operationalised last year.

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