The European Union (EU) has said Malawi has to make a number of adjustments if it is to fully benefit from the EU in terms of trade.
EU Ambassador Marchel Gerrmann in an interview on Tuesday on the sidelines of his visit to Malawi Bureau of Standard (MBS) office in Blantyre said the country needs to implement right policies.
He said this is despite the 27-member trade EU bloc being one of the major destination for Malawi’s exports.
According to the November 2016 monthly statistical bulletin prepared by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Malawi exported goods worth K13 billion to the EU, down from K17.6 billion the year before.
On the contrary, imports from the EU increased to K8.1 billion from K7.7 billion the year before.
Malawi has continued to perform poorly in narrowing the trade gap despite a flurry of policy prescriptions on boosting exports and promoting local production to cut imports.
A report from the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission on Malawi’s trade with the world over a 10-year period trade deficit has been rising from 118 million euros in 2005 to 641 million euros in 2015.
Gerrmann said that while Malawi should look at ways on capitalising the already available cash crops it exports to the EU markets, there is need to invest more in food processing which has become competitive of late.
“Malawi should capitalise on agricultural products such as tea and cash crops that can be developed and overtime Malawi can invest more in value chain food processing so that they can find their way to the international market,” he said.
Gerrmann said Malawi should concentrate on implementing right policies as a means of creating an enabling business environment.
He said: “What is needed in Malawi is growth and jobs. When I talk about the right policies is what Malawi is trying to do to create the best environment to attract investment. ”