Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Salim Bagus says the ongoing Tokyo International Conference on Africa (Ticad7) in Yokohama, Japan has revealed a great market potential for Malawian products in Japan and beyond.
Bagus said this on Wednesday in Yokohama after observing the influx of potential buyers at the exhibition booth that the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) erected at the venue displaying various products from Malawi.
The Mitc booth was a centre of attraction as many potential buyers thronged it with inquiries of the displayed products, expressing interest in importing them.
The minister challenged the business sector in Malawi to seize the market opportunity and produce more to satisfy the demand that the products had created at the Ticad7.
Said Bagus: “There are a lot of Japanese who are looking for Malawian products and I’d like to encourage Malawian businesspeople to produce a lot of quality products and to also participate in such exhibitions whenever they take place.
“I’ve been impressed with how products such as Moringa, which we see as just one of those things, selling like hot cakes here in Japan, which is an assurance that there’s a very huge market for such products.”
The minister said Malawi honey, tea and Mzuzu coffee were other products that attracted customers at the Mitc exhibition booth.
Besides selling Malawian products to the world, Mitc is also canvassing for potential investors to come to Malawi to explore investment opportunities in various sectors.
Meanwhile, Malawi Government is expected to hold meetings with potential Japanese investors at the conference to lobby for funds for energy project which the minister said had gone through feasibility.
The Ticad7 is attended by African heads of State or their representatives, African and Japanese government officials and investors, United Nations organisations and international civil society organisations and the African Union.
Vice-President Everton Herbert Chimulirenji is representing President Peter Mutharika at the Ticad7 and while there, the Veep is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a number of side meetings with various high-level dignitaries. Abe officially opened the three-day Ticad7 on Wednesday afternoon with an emphasis on the need to find solutions to African challenges through science, technology and innovation.