Malawi hopes to improve its trade performance with regional trading partners through its participation in a five-day Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) from next Tuesday.
For a number of years now, the countryâ€™s export trade has been weighing heavily in favour of its regional trading partners, negatively impacting on the economic performance.
Malawiâ€™s export base has also been narrow, substantially affecting the countryâ€™s fragile import cover and making it unable to timely procure necessary imports such as fuel, fertiliser and medical drugs.
But Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) projects and market research officer Maurice Chimbilima Gondwe told Business News on Wednesday that its participation at the fair in Bulawayo will help to reverse the negative trade performance with its partners.
“Malawiâ€™s participation will be to generate business in areas of trade, investment and tourism; and also to promote the countryâ€™s image to the outside world,” said Gondwe, stressing that Malawiâ€™s presentation will entail product display, on the counter information dissemination, and organisation of promotional events and business meetings.
The ZITF 2012 from April 24 to 28, is likely to attract local and international interest in trade and investment opportunities existing in the different countries within Africa.
Malawi businesses will be given a platform from which to exhibit their products and services to an audience of global buyers and investors, and the opportunity to conclude meaningful business transactions.
Some of the companies which are expected to participate in the fair are Cable Manufacturers, Mutupanyama Holdings, Air Malawi Limited, Bucow Investments, Cactus Group Limited, Fadamz Rice Milling, Rab Processors Limited, Raiply Malawi Limited, BNC Packaging Limited, Chombe Foods, Universal Industries Limited, Southern Bottlers Limited, Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union and Ministry of Tourism.
The national flag carrierâ€™s tariffs and industry affairs manager Tony Chimpukuso said on Wednesday they are prepared for the fair.
“Air Malawi flies three times [Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays] a week to Harare. Investments require that people move and it also requires an air transport system that is reliable. We believe Air Malawi is a regional air transport service. We want to facilitate connectivity,” he said when asked how the company will benefit from the trade fair.
MITC said it will continue to participate in promotional events such as trade fairs, buyer/seller meetings and investment missions to afford the exporters a chance to identify potential buyers and investors as well as knowing their requirements.