The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has encouraged businesses ranging from big corporates to small and medium entrepreneurs to re-focus their attention towards industrial production and growth.
MCCCI membership services and communication manager Natasha Phoya-Kalea said this on Wednesday in the commercial city of Blantyre when briefing journalists on the preparedness of this year’s 25th Malawi International Trade Fair (Mitf).
The fair, themed ‘Mitf @ 25: Presenting Opportunities for Industrial growth,’ will be held from May 24 to June 2 at Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds in Blantyre.
“The theme is focusing on 25 years of conducting Mitf when the country has benefited a lot from this trade promotion event. MCCCI would like to encourage businesses ranging from big corporates to small and medium entrepreneurs to re-focus more of their attention towards industrial production and growth,” said Kalea.
She said, so far, over 240 pavilions have been booked for the fair with 25 pavilions reserved for international exhibitors. Some of the countries to participate in the fair include Ghana, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Tanzania, India, Malaysia, Botswana, Egypt and Kenya.
Government has adopted and applied a range of policy measures aimed at boosting investment and export incentives and regional integration.
Through the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II) and National Export Strategy (NES), government is re-focusing its attention by tackling other policies to ensure that the Malawian economy is export driven.
In line with this, Kalea said the Mitf implores the need to further move away from traditional exports to non-traditional exports and encouraging manufactured exports.
“At 11 percent, manufacturing contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) remains very low, but cannot be turned around within a short time, but with the current economic environment, value addition for exports will benefit the country more than ever,” she said.
Kalea said the trade fair will also provide business to business matchmaking meetings, business workshops, business days and school days, adding that companies participating are requested to express their interest in terms of who they would want to meet and discuss business deals.
Mitf, an annual trade promotion event that brings together exhibitors from Africa, Asia and Europe, was launched in 1987.
The fair gives exhibitors an opportunity to market their products and services and it is also a platform for learning new technologies, marketing skills, production techniques, inter-firm interaction and getting feedback from customers.