The European Union (EU) says the country’s over-reliance on tobacco will, in future, have a negative economic consequence because of the global anti-smoking lobby.
EU head of delegation Marchel Germann made the remarks on Tuesday in Lilongwe during the launch of Trade Map and Trade Information Portal by National Statistics Office (NSO) and Malawi Investment Trade Centre (Mitc).
“Malawi continues to be dependent on tobacco for its foreign reserves. It goes without saying that too much reliance on one commodity as a foreign exchange earner is risky,” said Germann.
He said the country should reconsider decisions on tariffs to maximise revenue collection.
On trade agreement, Germann said the objective of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is to introduce new trade and development arrangements that remove barriers to trade between countries in the African, Caribbean and Pacific region and EU.
“Most countries in Sub-Sahara Africa have moved to the implementation stage of the EPA. Malawi should, therefore, not left behind,” said Germann.
Principal secretary (PS) for Trade Cliff Chiunda said government was taking steps to improve the environment for doing business and investment in the country, including public reforms. n