By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
South Africa remains Malawi’s top export market having received over $60 million worth of exports from the country in 2018, latest figures from the International Trade Center (ITC) Trade Map indicate.
However, the figure is 13 percent lower than $69 million worth of exports registered in 2017.
Imports from South Africa were seen at $448.5 million.
Other export destinations making the top five for Malawi include Zimbabwe at $33 million, Egypt at $26 million, Tanzania at $18 million and Mozambique at $14 million.
Kenya and Zambia follow in the range of $13 million worth of exports.
Economic commentator, Collen Kaluwa, said Malawi needs to diversify its export-base.
“We export raw rice, we export raw tobacco, raw con, but what we import through their mega stores and people that do cross border trade are things that are value added,” Kaluwa said.
The National Statistical Office figures show that between 2017 and 2018, trade balance has more than doubled to K2.7 trillion from K1.2 trillion.
During the period, petroleum, unused stamps, fertilisers, motor cars and medicines topped the import list while tobacco, tea, oil cake, sugar and soya beans topped the export list.