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Kapondamgaga elected COMESA Business Council Board Member

 President of the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Prince Kapondamgaga has been elected COMESA Business Council (CBC) Board Member at a meeting held in Lusaka, Zambia. The Board which will be chaired by Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, also elected at the same meeting, will serve from 2018-2020. The meeting also elected Sudan Union of Chambers of Commerce and Kenya Association of Manufacturers as first and second vice chairperson. Other Board members are Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Seychelles. CBC is a private sector organization in Africa that promotes competitive and interconnected industries to actively participate in regional and global markets through advocacy, business facilitation and enterprise development.

Exporters to the EU migrates to REX self-certifying system

Exporters to the European Union (EU), Norway and Switzerland will effective 1st January 2019 migrate to the electronic self-certifying of exports called Registered Exporters System (REX) This means that the GSP Certificate of Origin, form A, will cease to be accepted for exporters to the EU. Malawi set 1st January 2019 as a date for transition to migrate to the REX system which is expected to be completed on June 30, 2019. Exporters will be required to register under REX to acquire a REX registration number to use for self-certifying their exports. Exporters are encouraged to complete the online REX pre-application by following the link https://customs.ec.europa.eu/rex-pa-ui/#/create-preapplication/. Once the Online form is completed, exporters are requested to print a copy and submit to the Competent Authority (CA), Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Export division who will assign them REX Registration number. Exporters are advised to use MW followed by Tax Payer Identification Number (TPIN) for the TIN to read MWTPIN e.g. MW20120565. Contact MCCCI if you encounter problems.

Canada Trade Commissioner Service holds talks with MCCCI

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, on Wednesday held talks with the Malawi Confederation of   Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The aim of the meeting was for the service to learn how Canada could advance its interests in the market and look at the areas of opportunities for business as well as understand the business environment in Malawi.

Regional Senior Trade Commissioner for Angola,Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Angela Dark said the Trade Commissioner Service aims at promoting business and partnerships between Canada and other countries particularly in innovation, Science and Technology and global values chains.

She said most Canadian companies will be interested to invest in agri-business and mining sectors in Malawi

 

Malawi Agricultural Industrial Investment Corporation to be launched

The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development in conjunction with CDH Investment Bank will on 28 November 2018, launch the Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Investment Corporation PLC.

Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Investment Corporation PLC (MAIIC) is a new private sector led development finance entity established to spearhead industrialization in Malawi.

MAIIC will open its doors to people, businesses, companies, agricultural cooperatives with bankable business projects seeking finance and technical skills to kick start or expand their businesses.

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”.

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)

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