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MBS launches 2017-2022 Strategic Plan

MBS launched its 2017-2022 strategic plan in Blantyre on Wednesday. The Plan which has been operational since June 2017 was developed to respond to the ever-changing business environment. The plan identifies institutional strengthening and capacity building, institutional restructuring and governance reforms, robust quality culture, consumer protection and trade facilitation and financial growth and sustainability as its strategic themes. The plan has 17 strategic objectives that will be implemented by 2022 to address the themes. The plan seeks to achieve, business service delivery, financial sustainability, increased certified products and services in Malawi, and strengthened financial growth and sustainability for MBS autonomous units beyond collection of Quality Development.

African Investment Forum attracts US$40 billion worth of conversations

The African Development Bank has said 61 investment conversations worth US$40 billion took place at the African Investment Forum that was held at Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg South Africa from 7-9 November 2018 which attracted over 330 investors from across the globe. The bank says US6.8 billion investment deals will be directed to South Africa alone in the areas of infrastructure, energy, transport, utilities, water, sanitation and housing. The forum, whose theme was “ Investing in commodity exchanges” took a unique agenda format, that saw participants’ discussing agribusiness challenges, ways to improve finance through financial institutions and how commodity exchanges can achieve more economies of scale and play a role for small scale farmers. Vice President Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the African Development Bank,Jennifer Blanke said “supporting the development of commodity exchanges can create a price discovery mechanism for buyers and sellers”.

African Investment Forum attracts US$40 billion worth of conversations

The African Development Bank has said 61 investment conversations worth US$40 billion took place at the African Investment Forum that was held at Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg South Africa from 7-9 November 2018 which attracted over 330 investors from across the globe. The bank says US6.8 billion investment deals will be directed to South Africa alone in the areas of infrastructure, energy, transport, utilities, water, sanitation and housing. The forum, whose theme was “ Investing in commodity exchanges” took a unique agenda format, that saw participants’ discussing agribusiness challenges, ways to improve finance through financial institutions and how commodity exchanges can achieve more economies of scale and play a role for small scale farmers. Vice President Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the African Development Bank,Jennifer Blanke said “supporting the development of commodity exchanges can create a price discovery mechanism for buyers and sellers”.

Malawi has failed to utilize the AGOA initiative

Malawi has under-utilized the African Growth and opportunity Act (AGOA) because of lack of a National Response Strategy to coordinate activities and ensure full realization of the initiative. AGOA, a trade preference program that provides duty-free access into the United States has been in existence from the year 2000 and is expected to expire in 2025. To enhance Malawi’s competitiveness, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism with support from USAID developed an AGOA utilization strategy, the National Response Strategy for Malawi which seeks to address the constraints and enhances competitiveness of exports to the US. The strategy has identified Macadamia nuts, Tea, Honey, Mangoes and Handicrafts (arts and crafts) as some of the products with greatest export potential to the US. At a dissemination workshop in Blantyre for the strategy, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Director, Christina Chatima said the priority products for export were selected based on existing U.S market demand, tariff rate for AGOA and potential for increased production including value added products.

Malawi needs an unconventional game plan for Free Trade Area

Malawi needs an unconventional game plan which will justify its joining of the Tripartite Free Trade Area by putting in place enabling infrastructure for it to be connected to the rest of the region.

MCCCI Chief Executive, Chancellor Kaferapanjira made the remarks at the Market Opportunities and Challenges of the Comesa-Sadc-EAC Tripartite Free Trade Area for Malawi.

He said for intra-regional trade to occur, there must be connectivity between different states fearing that infrastructure within the region was still in deficit.

“Exchange of goods and services takes place via connectedness. Enabling infrastructure therefore must be put in place at any cost. We should ask ourselves, how well Malawi is connected to the rest of the region, or indeed, what plans are in the offing in this regard. This will determine whether Malawi stands to benefit from this arrangement if ratified,” said Kaferapanjira.

He said whilst ratifying the TFTA Agreement appears very attractive, Malawi should exercise caution in doing so by weighing its ability to benefit.

“We have to weigh our ability to benefit from the Agreement versus the potential impact on our local industry,” He said.

The Tripartite Free Trade Area comprises 26 countries that are members of the already existing blocs of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), and Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Dubai builds a new city in preparation for World Expo 2020

Dubai is building a new city in preparation for World Expo 2020 around the Al Maktoum International Airport to be called ‘Dubai South’.

 

The new city, to be built around the universal theme of ‘happiness, will symbolize the spirit of the individual and will be developed into an ideal place for individuals to empower themselves and contribute towards building a harmonious society.

 

Dubai Expo 2020 website said, Dubai South will be marked by landmark buildings, attractive recreational facilities and excellent roads as a means to enhance happiness of people.

 

 “The overarching mission is to develop the city into a flagship urban project and set benchmarks for manifesting the themes of happiness across the country, as envisioned in Dubai Plan 2021” According to Dubai Expo 2020 website.

 

Meanwhile, the newly created Dubai Creative Clusters Authority is working to transform the city into a global hub for design and fashion by 2020, primarily targeting the fields of: architecture, industrial and product design, interior design, graphic and digital design and fashion design.

 

Egypt to host Intra-African Trade Fair

Egypt will host the first ever Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) from 11-17 December 2018, which is being convened by the African Export-Import Bank in collaboration with the African Union. The Intra-African Trade Initiative has invited Malawi to participate in the inaugural African Trade Fair and to consider submitting a proposal to bid for the IATF Country Day Programme. “The fair which has been themed “Transforming Africa”, is the first of its kind in the continent. It is intended to provide a unique platform for promoting Intra-African trade and facilitating information exchange in support of increased intra-African trade,” The fair which was launched in 2018 at the 10th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the African Union seeks to solidify implementation of the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA)

Private Sector to establish Scaling up Nutrition Business Network

Efforts to establish the Scaling up Nutrition Business Network (SUN), a platform for coordinating private sector to Improve nutrition, have advanced. MCCCI said there is need to engage private sector in scaling up nutrition because the sector requires a healthy and well-nourished workforce which is critical for improved productivity, profitability and sustainability. “The private sector creates the demand for nutritious foods through manufacturing and sale of nutrition related products as well as promoting awareness through different marketing approaches used,” said MCCCI. A final round of regional consultative meetings hosted in Blantyre on October 2, 2018, brought together private sector and other partners to review key steps to move towards the launch. This follows two other regional fora which were held in Mzuzu and Lilongwe respectively. The initiative being led through the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) is backed by strong support from the Department of Nutrition, HIV and Aids (DNHA), Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Malawi is primed to become the 3rd country in Southern Africa to establish the SUN Business Network after Zambia and Mozambique that were launched in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Sales training to increase revenue: MCCCI

 Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry says it is optimistic that the sales training it held recently will translate into increased revenue for participating institutions.

Director of Membership Development and Service Delivery Stella Ng’oma made the remarks when she officially closed the one-day high-level Sales Performance Training in Blantyre on Friday.

The training covered critical areas in sales such as stamina for high level sales performance, understanding the selling environment and the role of Marketing in sales among others.

Incubation Centre to improve SMEs competitiveness

Government says it has identified leather and leather products and garments and textiles as key sectors that have potential to create jobs, contribute to skills development, exports development and forex generation and generate increased incomes for Small Medium Enterprises SMEs.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa made the remarks when he officially launched a Leather Design Studio in Chileka and a Garments and Textile Incubation Centre located in the Trade Fair Grounds.

He said government recognizes that promotion of SMEs is a direct ingredient for alleviating poverty and economic empowerment.

In his words, MCCCI’s President, Prince Kapondamgaga said the incubation Centre project follows a Gemini survey which revealed that in Malawi, 80 percent of businesses are not set up for profit maximization and reinvestment purposes but to support the primary requirements of households.

Kapondamgaga said the Garments and Textiles Incubation Centre project will help put all producers at one place so that they are jointly supervised to ensure improved quality of products.

The incubation centre has been financed by the European Union to the tune of US$84,000 with the facilitation of COMESA.

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