National Trade and Industrial Policies launched

Industry, Trade, and Tourism Minister Hon. Joseph Mwanamvekha, MP. On Friday October 7, 2016 launched the National Trade and Industrial policies at an event held at the Bingu wa Mutharika Convention Centre in Lilongwe.High Table at the launch of National Trade and Industrial Policies.jpg

Speaking when he launched the policies, Hon. Mwananvekha, MP said the principal aim of the National Industrial Policy (NIP) is to enhance the country’s productive capacity through industrialization.

Mwanamvekha said that the Ministry has been implementing the Integrated Trade and Industry Policy which was developed in 1998, noting that this was not sufficient enough to guide the Ministry in a competitive global market considering the radical changes that have taken place over the last two decades.

The National Industrial Policy provides guidance in dealing with factors that determine the growth of our economy such as land, taxes, productive labour force, energy supply, raw materials, transport costs, and education standards.

The High Table: (L to R )Christina Chatima (Director of Trade),
Cliff Chiunda (PS ), Joseph Mwanamvekha (Minister),
Mia Seppo (UNDP Country Coordinator) and Kedron Chisale (Director of Industry)

According to the Minister if these factors are not consistent, coherent and collectively focused on industrial development, then the private sector will struggle to grow at the pace that is necessary to raise sufficient fiscal revenue, generate enough urban and rural jobs, and improve the incomes of Malawians.

Turning to the new National Trade Policy, the Minister said the policy reflects the range of opportunities and challenges facing the country as we try to use trade as a tool for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

“[The Policy] recognises the critical issue of implementation of both the trade agreements already in place, and the supply side measures needed to harness trade for development. Consequently, it is particularly intertwined with both the National Export Strategy (NES) and the National Industrial Policy (NIP) with regards to its priorities and implementation structures,” he said.

Mwanamvekha noted that trade has fundamentally shaped the economy of Malawi.

“Despite being a landlocked Developed Country, it has a relatively high export to GDP ratio of 30% when compared to many countries in this region. Exports are primary or semi processed products, which are developed solely for sale to global markets. Malawi also relies heavily on imported goods like fuel, fertilizer, and most manufactured products. 

“However, the key challenge for Malawi has always been an unsustainable trade deficit,” he said.Mwanamvekha with Seppo show the audience the two policies.JPG

During the launch, the UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Mia Seppo — whose institution provided the financial and technical support for the development and launch of the two policies — urged the Ministry officials to translate the two policies into tangible action for them to work and be meaningful.

The launch was attended by senior government officials, the country’s Development Partners, Captains of Industry and the country’s lawmakers.

 Group Photo at the National Trade and Industrial Policy launch.JPG