Malawi and Tanzania plan to hold a joint business and trade forum to find solutions trade-related differences to spur trade between the two countries, The Nation has established.
The forum is scheduled for next month in Tanzania following recommendations of the fourth session of the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC) between the two countries held in Lilongwe in February.
Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) director of investment promotion and facilitation Joshua Nthakomwa, in an interview on Monday, described the forum as an opportunity to enhance trade between the two countries, adding that in the past, the two countries have not taken advantage of their proximity.
“Tanzania is a major hub where most of our goods also come through. So, with such forums taking place, our businesspeople will be the biggest beneficiaries,” he said.
The sectors that will be under discussion and networking include trade and industry, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, transport, mining, finance and banking, education, health and information communication, according to Nthakomwa.
Catholic University-based economist Gilbert Kachamba while commending government for the initiative, said there is more that needs to be done to ensure that the forum benefits investors from the two countries.
“Forums such as these are beneficial to the country because if you look at our neighbours, they are way ahead of us in many aspects. Their gross domestic product per capita is high. In investments, they are also doing good.
“There are a lot of things we can learn from them even to have flexible policies in place governing various sectors including energy and mining,” he said.