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Review trade policies, taxes—Government urged

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Some members of the public have urged the government to consider reviewing trade policies and pacts with trading partners to achieve inclusive wealth creation and self-resilience under the National Transformation 2063.

They further stressed on need for reduction of industry sector taxes to make local products competitive to foreign products both on the local and international markets.

This came out during a special programme on Times Radio on Tuesday evening through which the National Planning Commission (NPC) is soliciting views on what could be considered into the next national development plan.

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During the programme, a Mr Nkhwani from Chikwawa said the private sector has failed to thrive over the years due to huge taxes.

Another contributor, a Mr Chilunga from Lilongwe said we have signed pact previously that have only made Malawi a market for foreign products which must be curtailed to ensure locally produced products enjoy the market.

Economic expert who is also Managing Director of Business Consult Africa, Henry Kachaje, added that the challenge is exacerbated by a poor economic environment.

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“The manufacturing sector in the country has failed to thrive because they pay huge taxes but also are faced with energy challenges. They have to increase production costs by using alternative energy sources among other challenges.

“The other problem is people’s mind-set. Malawians consider everything imported as the best than what is produced locally, this is weakening our industry,” Kachaje said.

NPC Youth Core Advisory Panel member, Monica Dzonzi, said there is need for the government to come up with factory shells to spur investments in the industry sector in the country.

According to NPC, Malawians have opted to achieve inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance by 2063 through enhanced agriculture productivity and commercialisation, industrialisation, urbanisation and tourism.

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