‘Malawi losing out on international trade’

Post was last updated: October 1, 2019

Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale has said Malawi is losing out on international trade due to delays in signing some crucial international agreements.

Kaphale said this during launch of the Commercial Bar Association (Combar) in Blantyre recently.

Kaphale cited the International Convention on Sale of Goods and New Law on Recognition and Enforcement on Arbitral Judgments and Awards among pacts the country needs to sign.

“We have a number of international treaties which impact on business which as government, we may have to seriously consider ratifying,” he said.

Kaphale said it was encouraging that the newly launched Combar raised the issue.

He said the government will ratify the laws after thorough consultation.

“It will involve consultation with relevant ministries and then we will come up with a position on whether to sign them or not, but I can say for a fact that there are some laws which government is already considering ratifying,” Kaphale said.

This comes as Malawi’s trade balance with most countries remains negative with imports surpassing exports due to insatiable appetite for foreign goods and continued reliance on imported inputs for production.

Malawi’s exports rose by 28 percent in the second quarter of 2019 to hit $316.6 million fuelled by a jump in sugar exports.

This is compared to the first quarter of the year when the country exported goods worth $247.3 million.

Resultantly, trade balance improved to an estimated deficit of $407.1 million from minus $454.2 million in the previous quarter

Malawi’s biggest traditional top exports have remained tobacco, tea, cotton and sugar in recent years.

In an interview yesterday, Ministry of Trade spokesperson, Mayeso Msokera said the ministry is lobbying for ratifying of a number of treaties which will enable the country engage in meaningful international trade.

“Of course there are a number of trade agreements but right now, we are promoting African Continental Free Trade Area,” he said.

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