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SMEs account for half of Malawi’s GDP

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Small businesses are driving the Malawi economy accounting for about half of Malawi’s Gross Domestic Product, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism said on Wednesday.

Chief Director in the ministry, Elsie Tembo, said SMEs are now the key driver of the economy and that with the right interventions, there is potential that the sector can contribute more to the growth of the economy.

But she said if the sector’s contribution to the economy is to grow further, players need to diversify their product and service scope as well as broaden their knowledge base.

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“Already, government is working on creating a conducive environment for SMEs to thrive,” she said.

Tembo was speaking when she opened a daylong SMEs symposium organised by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (Smedi) in Blantyre.

Among other interventions, Tembo said the ministry is reviewing the SME policy to help create an enabling environment for further growth of the sector.

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Chief Executive Officer for Smedi, Charles Kazembe however, lamented the low access to financing and high lending rates which he said continue to stifle small businesses.

“At the moment, we cannot say that as a nation have benefited from SMEs because opportunities for access to finance are limited,” he said.

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