By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
In a quest to cement trade relations, Tanzania’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Joseph George Kakunda, on Monday engaged local exporters and small and medium entrepreneurs in Lilongwe to coax them to take advantage of the proximity of the two countries and Tanzania’s appetite for agriculture products from Malawi.
Kakunda said, despite existing trade ties, there is need for the two countries to do more to enhance growth and tolerance among traders.
“We have been trading for a long time mostly because we are neighbours. What we need now is to shape our trading relationship further so that we rip more from this trade relationship. We have a number of goods that we can be exporting to Malawi but also there are traders from Malawi that are penetrating our markets especially on scrap metals and agriculture.
“We are making progress in many of the areas in terms of seeds trading because Malawi is advanced in seed research. We also have plans t enhance rail and water transportation to ease trading between the two nations,” Kakunda said.
One of the local traders who met Kakunda, Marienne Chawo, said Tanzania offers many business opportunities to local traders but they lack capacity to meet the demand.
“Last year, I got an order to supply 200,000 metric tonnes of groundnuts to a client in Tanzania but I was not able reach the target even after I engaged other SMEs locally. There is also a friend who is supplying scrap metals to that country so this gives us an opportunity to channel our concerns to the Tanzanian authorities,” Chawo said.
According to statics on trade map, Malawi exported goods worth $68, 635 and imported goods worth $43, 623 in 2017.