Ministry of Trade director of trade Clement Kumbemba, has challenged the private sector in Lilongwe to step up their innovations to produce commodities that can compete on the African continental market.
He made the remarks during a validation workshop of the draft national strategy for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) which Malawi ratified on November 1 2020.
He said the AFCFTA will create a huge market for African products.
“I wish to encourage you business captains to put serious thoughts and efforts on product innovation and diversification,” Kumbemba said.
He said government is aware of the challenges that can limit the maximum productivity potential of the private sector.
A facilitator from United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca), Batani Chikwene congratulated the Malawi Government for taking the necessary steps to domesticate the agreement.
The AFCFTA aims to create a market whereby African countries will be able to conduct trade without charging each other custom duties.
This is against the background that African countries have for a long time heavily relied on consumption of goods from other continents.
Currently, statistics indicate that 85 percent of the goods on the African market are of foreign origin.