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MITC vows to reverse negative trade balance

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Paul Kwengwere

The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) has said it is committed to reversing Malawi’s negative trade balance by boosting exports and promoting import substitution.

Speaking in Lilongwe at the start of a Product Pricing, International Trade Logistics and Contract Negotiation training workshop, MITC Chief Executive Officer Paul Kwengwere noted that Malawi’s trade imbalance increased from about -$1.3 billion in 2010 to an estimated -$2.2 billion in 2020, representing a worsening increase of about 72 percent.

“Our aim is to reverse that trend. However, reversing this trend requires concerted efforts by all key players, including capacity building.

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“This is why we, at MITC, always partner you to address some of the technical capacity constraints pertaining to international trade,” Kwengwere said.

He said the export business could be challenging, not only because of cumbersome procedures and documentations, but also because of intense competition from international rivals.

Kwengwere said it is, therefore, imperative to do all things right and efficiently in order to stand the competition.

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“Export logistics can be a nightmare, mainly for first-time exporters that may not know about what is involved. There are a number of issues that the exporter needs to be aware of, including transportation, border processes, clearing and forwarding, financing and payment options.

“We all know that pricing decisions directly affect sales revenue and overall profitability of an enterprise. But, then, what are the elements of export pricing? What constitutes optimal export prices? What can an exporter do in order to be price competitive? I believe these are some of the questions this training is going to endeavour to address,” Kwengwere said.

MITC Board Chairperson Karl Chokhotho urged Malawian businesses to take advantage of market opportunities across Malawi’s borders to grow their businesses.

The training attracted about 80 exporters.

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