Minister of Labour Ken Kandodo has urged Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) to work with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to ensure that certification of quality and marketable products is realised.
The minister said this last week when he visited MBS offices in Blantyre.
He said that SMEs have the potential to create one million jobs; hence, the need for small businesses to be equipped with the necessary expertise to produce quality and competitive products.
Kandodo said apart from employing others, SMEs need to produce quality products to compete in the highly competitive markets that should in turn help to contribute to growth of the country’s economy.
“We came to see how MBS can work with SMEs in making sure that government’s efforts to create jobs are realised within the specified period,” he said.
Kandodo said some SMEs have complained of facing problems in accessing certification from MBS, a development that affects their export potential.
“We have been schooled on processes of certification and we have asked MBS to work with the SMEs and guide them throughout the process so that they do not get frustrated,” he said.
On his part, MBS director general Simon Mandala said the visit helped to enhance the relationship between SMEs and MBS which has not been rosy in the past.
He said that many SMEs skip the crucial process of registration, adding that some rush to sell their products without proper standardisation and certification of the bureau.
Said Mandala: “We have had examples where an entrepreneur goes to the biggest supermarkets in town to sell their products and the shop asks them to get certifications from us before they start supplying their products.
“In most occasions, SMEs come to MBS with pressure wanting certification of products within shortest period.”
Ministry of Labour is championing the creation of one million jobs in one year.