Malawi’s performance in trade is set to improve, courtesy of a two million euro (about K1.6 billion) modern, laboratory to the metrology services department of the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS).
Speaking during the handover ceremony of the laboratory in Blantyre on Thursday, Norwegian Ambassador Haugen said legal metrology is essential in this purpose to improve compliance with technical standards to heighten consumer confidence and gain access to regional and global value chains, a development he said will have a direct implication on employment opportunities, welfare and value creation.
He said: “This laboratory addresses a very important challenge in Malawi as faced in any country. If you go to the market and buy a bag of maize, you want to know that you have bought the exact measurements. If Malawi is to have a chance on the regional and international market, the products being exported needs to be up to international markets, they need to be accurate otherwise Malawi cannot compete.”
In his remarks, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Joseph Mwanamvekha said the project will help improve product safety and quality features, improve competitiveness, and increase consumer protection so that Malawi is in a position to access global market opportunities.
“For instance, the project will assist agro-based producer organisations to achieve relevant certification for selected products, thus leading directly to the stabilisation of smallholder farmer incomes,” he said.
Over the years, Malawi has been recording dwindling performance.
Recently, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) also said that despite Malawi’s active involvement in regional integration, the country’s trade performance has worsened over the years. n