Ministry of Industry and Trade has touted Malawi’s strides in wiping out non-tariff barriers (NTBs) with her trade partners especially within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).
According to the ministry’s spokesperson, Wiskes Nkombezi, no single trading partner country is complaining against Malawi when it comes to NTBs.
He was reacting to a Comesa status report seen by Business News presented to the committee which concluded its three-day meeting in Zambia last Saturday, revealing that 171 NTBs have been recorded between Comesa member States on the online system.
Of 171 NTBs, Comesa has reported that only seven are outstanding representing 4.1 percent of the reported NTBs.
NTBs are a form of restrictive trade where barriers to trade are set up and are not in the usual form of a tariff and common examples include quotas, levies, embargoes and sanctions.
“I can confirm this system [of reporting, monitoring and eliminating NTBs].
“Malawi do not have any country complaining against us when it comes to these non-trade barriers,” said Nkombezi.
Nkombezi said Malawi will continue to adopt instruments that will facilitate the implementation of deeper regional integration with a view to encourage intra-regional trade for the benefit of the regional economies.
But based on the Comesa status report, the outstanding NTBs are those affecting trade in freezers and fridges, UHT milk, palm based cooking oil, soap, wheat flour, bottled soya oil and import licenses and surcharges on various products.
It says countries whose bilateral trade has been affected by these NTBs include Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Egypt and Rwanda. n