MCCCI's Chancellor Kaferapanjira questions prioritization of light industries in manufacturing in MW's National Export Strategy ll
Chancellor Kaferapanjira is questioning the prioritization of light industries in manufacturing in the National Export Strategy ll which were also the focus in the previous NES but never worked.
MALAWI: Chief Executive Officer (C. E. O) for Malawi Confederation Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), Chancellor Kaferapanjira, is questioning the prioritization of light industries in manufacturing in the National Export Strategy ll which were also the focus in the previous NES but never worked.
The C. E. O. made his observations as he attended the NES ll launch virtually on Thursday under the theme Unlocking Malawi's Full Export Potential which took place at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe
Scrutinizing the NES ll Kaferapanjira said this is not to say that we should ignore the light sector.
"Why do we focus on light industries in manufacturing which also were the priority sectors in the previous NES, when evidence points to the need for venturing into heavy impactful sectors?" he quizzed.
Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe, said the strategy will assist Malawi to promote crop production such as legumes on the international market.
"My Ministry will be working with the Ministry of Finance to address the funding challenge in the implementation of the successor strategy and it will assist Malawi to promote crop production such as legumes on the international market," he said.
"I will work closely with the Ministry of Transport to ensure that Malawi establishes and uses the most optimal and economic transport corridor to the sea that will lead to the massive reduction in import and export cost. There is a need to stop overspending on-road Transport and invest in the energy sector to succeed in the implementation of the strategy"
Gwengwe observed that the first National Export Strategy did not meet its goal due to funding challenges and lack of cooperation as each Ministry worked on its own.
Malawi's President, Lazarus Chakwera, presided over the launch virtually and said the K30 billion worth five-year strategy is expected to boost Malawi's export by 26% from 2021 to 2026.
"Government has intensified rail transport infrastructure development as one way of addressing transportation challenges affecting trade activities in the country. NES I focused on developing value chains of oilseed products, NES ll is focusing on value addition, production of high-value products. Manufacturing products that are competitive on the global market. I have instituted a Taskforce led by Deputy Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Jane Banda, who will report to my office," said the President.
Ministry of Trade, Chief Economist, Cuthbert Wandonda Chirwa said National Export Strategy ll vision is to make Malawi a competitive, compliant, diversified band sustainable sourcing destination of good a device for the regional and global marketplace and to increase exports a percentage of GDP from 14% to 20%.
"Short-term implementation plans include expanding supply of products which are already being exported to services existing as well as new markets and develop products which are presently being manufactured from the domestic market to become export-ready to service existing and new markets," said the Chief Economist
Malawi's Trade Ministry has identified four areas to propel Malawi's export; namely, agriculture, mining and minerals, manufacturing, and services such as Tourism.
Joining Virtually, Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Executive Director Ratnakar Adhikari, whose organization is under the World Trade Organisation, urged Malawi to use the NES II to build robust sustained economic growth.
"Malawi Government should leverage on the strategy to address binding constraints towards achieving the goals and aspirations embedded in the Malawi 2063, the country’s long-term development blueprint. NES II will provide an impetus for Malawi to improve on its exports and improve its competitiveness,” said Adhikari.
During the launch, Malawi's Trade Minister and the Malawi President commended the Commonwealth Secretariat and World Trade Organization among other key Stakeholders that provided support towards the formulation of the NES ll.