The indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam) says local traders are failing to reach the international market because of government’s red tape in awarding exports permits.
Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday, Ibam president Mike Mlombwa said the organisation has been receiving complaints from local businesspersons that they are failing to get government’s clearance to export produce such as soya beans despite having a ready market.
“This is killing local businesses and leaving many Malawian businesses with nothing to do. These people are being frustrated,” he said.
Mlombwa said the development is affecting the country’s economy as government favours foreign businesses whose profits are not invested in the country.
According to Mlombwa, the country’s big businesses are dominated by foreigners because Malawians are not empowered or given an opportunity to grow businesses in their own country.
He said if given a chance to extend their businesses, local traders would help in reducing unemployment as they are likely to hire fellow Malawians.
But Ministry of Trade and Industry spokesperson Wiskes Mkombezi said export permits are given to any business person for free, regardless of their nationality.
“Anyone who wants an export permit gets it whether Malawian or non-Malawian. Our interest is to increase our export base,” he said.