By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
A study which the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) conducted has shown that China was the biggest market for Malawian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in 2018 under the Enhanced Integrated Framework Project, with a $141 million demand.
The study shows that the second largest market for Malawi SMEs in the year was South Africa with a demand of $100 million followed by Zimbabwe with a $76.6 million demand.
MITC Public Relations Manager, Deliby Chimbalu, attributed the development to export promotion campaigns, which the institution carried out in a number of countries across the globe under the project.
“Last year, we rolled out an export promotion campaign where we organised several trade missions to different countries with an aim of identifying markets for local products.
“Some of the countries we visited include: Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Egypt and China and we are happy that these missions have exposed our Malawian producers and manufacturers to market opportunities beyond the borders of Malawi,” Chimbalu said.
She said the total demand for the country’s products was pegged at $340 million.
Chimbalu said most of the export leads are for agricultural products such as soya beans, groundnuts, rice, beans, sunflower and poultry products.
She also said there is demand for some manufactured products like soya pieces, sunflower cake, plastic products, peanut butter, tea, coffee, cotton cake and beverages.
“We, as MITC, are encouraging those that have the capacity to export these products to get in touch with us, and we will provide the necessary trade facilitation services between them and the potential buyers,” Chimbalu said.
The Enhanced Integrated Framework Project aims to promote sales of value-added products by Malawian non-traditional exporters and their respective production networks of rural producers to the Nacala corridor and also regional and international markets.