By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
The SMEs claim that business has slowed since January, a development fuelled by high unemployment rates that have weakened the peoples buying power.
The outburst comes against a background that Malawi has been ranked fourth among the poorest nations in the world by the Global Finance Magazine.
In an interview, Nasme National Coordinator, William Mwale, said the government should ensure that a larger population of the country should be employed which will enhance their disposable income, improve business performance and let alone grow the economy.
“As business people, we can’t grow if the market does not have the purchasing power because of poverty Disposable income in the target market is an important factor for determining business growth and sustainability,” Mwale said.
Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister, Francis Kasaila, declined to comment on government failing to employ as many Malawians as possible, saying it is an issue for the Ministry of Labour.
Kasaila also quashed claims that there is rampant corruption in the ministry.
“If they have evidence, let them come forward and give us the names so that we forward them to the Anti-Corruption Bureau for investigations. Otherwise, that is not true because almost every day I am approving export permits for many businesses.
“On imports, we are trying to reduce the quantity of products we import as a nation to utilise those that are produced locally,” Kasaila said.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Man power Development, Grace Chiumia, said the government had done more to make sure people were financially independent through establishment of community colleges and the recent internship programme.
“We have done enough as the government and, while we acknowledge that unemployment remains a challenge in the country, we implore the private sector to complement our efforts to employ the many Malawians seeking jobs,” Chiumia said.
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