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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.

MCCCI to launch Garments and Textiles Incubation Center

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) will launch the Garments and Textiles Incubation Centre at Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds on October 19, 2018.

 Director Business Environment and Policy Advocacy, Madalitso Kazembe said, the objective of establishing the center is to enhance competiveness of micro-small- and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) through sector cluster development in order to promote innovations and competitiveness through establishment of Incubation Centers.

 “MSMEs are constrained by inadequate skills, inappropriate technology and limited access to finance which this project intends to address in a pragmatic and practical way” said Kazembe.

 She said, to achieve the objective, COMESA through the facility provided support for the preparation and installation of value addition equipment for the incubation Centre.

 Said Kazembe: “MCCCI has now completed the installation of the value addition equipment for the operation of the Garments and Textile Incubation Centre within the Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds,”

 

MCCCI through Ministry of Industry Trade and Tourism collaborated with COMESA to implement a cluster project on Textiles and Garments under the framework of Technical Cooperation Facility of the European Union.

 

COMESA has been working with member states to promote value addition in the sub sectors of the economy operated by (MSMES) as a mechanism of boosting job creation and intra region trade to compliment Governments efforts to develop a vibrate private sector.


 

MCCCI to hold a High-Level Sales Perfomance Training

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) will hold a one-day high-level Sales Performance Training on October 19, 2018 at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.

The training has been organized to build sales team’s capacity and ability to build relationships with customers and generate repeat business.

“MCCCI believes that a highly charged and well- rounded sales team is the lifeblood and requirement of any selling organization in today’s challenging environment,”

Confirm your attendance to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call on 0996 557 042.

MCCCI holds Mzuzu trade Fair

The Mzuzu University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Proffessor Fred Msiska said Malawi’s industrialisation is negligible despite being very rich in natural resources and other raw materials.

 He was speaking when he officially opened the 3rd Mzuzu Trade Fair at the Taifa Market in Mzuzu.

 Efforts to industrialise our economy have met several obstacles and as a result Malawi has been exporting unprocessed primary commodities whose prices on the international market are volatile

Said Pr. Msika: “Industrialisation will therefore contribute to sustained wealth creation as Malawi’s natural resources and other raw materials will be converted into value-added products for export to the global market,”

 He further said that institutions of higher learning hold one of the most important roles in shaping the future of the society.

Adding that research indicates that a strong system of higher education is a significant contributor to the country’s ability to compete in the global marketplace and is critical to the economic strength and social well-being.

Speaking at the same event, Councillor of MCCCI Benard Kaunda said the third Mzuzu Trade Fair availed an opportunity to SMEs based in the northern region to showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services, meet with industry partners and customers, study activities of rivals, and examine recent market trends and opportunities within Malawi and abroad.

MCCCI hails MERA on electricity tariff decision

The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has been applauded for considering stakeholders suggestions in its decision to increase electricity base tariff by 31.8% as opposed to the requested 60% by ESCOM.

Announcing the increase which will be implemented from 2018 to 2022, a statement from MERA indicated that detailed analysis of the application also reflected on the issues and concerns that were raised by stakeholders during public hearings that it conducted.

MCCCI was among the stakeholders that lobbied for scrutiny of the application, to avoid pushing unnecessary costs to the end user.

MCCCI, Chief Executive Officer, Chancellor Kaferapanjira, cautioned that 60 percent electricity tariff increase in a single financial year could send major shock waves to the economy and that the end user will be the one to bear most of the burden.

MCCCI also suggested removal of unexplained overheads which had no direct benefit to the end user which could have inflated the tariffs.

“The inability of ESCOM to collect debts from Government institutions and some ‘private sector players’ should not burden the end user with a high tariff. We propose that this provision of 3% be removed. We propose that lower increments in the tariff structure go to businesses especially SMEs in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III,” Said Kaferapanjira in his presentation during one of the consultation meetings held by MERA.

Reacting to MERA’s decision, Kaferapanjira said he was thrilled that, MERA has implemented at least five of the suggestions that MCCCI provided.

Said Kaferapanjira: “We are thrilled that MCCCI managed to influence the reduction of the proposed increase to only 20 percent for the first year as opposed to the requested 60 percent. The increase needed to happen, whatever the case, as we needed a cost reflective tariff in order to attract potential investors into the sector. What we did was to ensure that inefficiencies shouldn't be built into the tariff,”

The 31% increase, translates into K21.92/kWh increase and an average tariff of K95.15/kWh against the average of MK117.64/kWh requested by ESCOM.

ESCOM applied for a 60% third base tariff increase which would have moved the average tariff by K44.07 from MK73.23/kWh to MK117.30/kWh.

 

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