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REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

STATEMENT BY
HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. ARTHUR PETER
MUTHARIKA,
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
AT THE
OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE 27TH MALAWI
INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR,
ON
22ND MAY 2015,
CHICHIRI TRADE FAIR GROUNDS, BLANTYRE.

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Your Excellency the First Lady of


the Republic of Malawi, Madam
Gertrude Mutharika;
Your Honour the Vice President,
Saulosa

Klaus

Chilima

and

Madam Chilima;
The Minister of Industry and
Trade,

Hon.

Joseph

Mwanamvekha, M.P.;
The

Chief

Government
Mkondiwa

Secretary
Mr.
and

government officials;
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to

the

George
all

senior

Mr.

Arthur

President

of

Chirwa,Deputy
the

Malawi

Confederation of Chambers of
Commerce

and

Industry

(MCCCI) and the rest of Business


Captains;
All Members of the Diplomatic;
The Mayor of the City of
Blantyre,

Councillor

Noel

Chalamanda;
Distinguished Invited Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

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It gives me great pleasure to be


here this morning to officially open
the 27th Malawi International Trade
Fair, under the theme Achieving
Regional

Integration

through

Trade.
At the outset, let me thank the
President

of

Confederation

the
of

Malawi

Chambers

of

Commerce and Industry (MCCCI)


for

inviting

preside
function.
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over

me

personally
this

to

important

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen


My Government recognizes the
importance of regional economic
integration

in

achieving

our

national economic goals through


private

sector

development,

industrialization, and export led


growth

and

development.

The

theme for this years trade fair


Achieving

Regional

through

Trade

pertinent

and

Integration

is

relevant

therefore,
to

my

Governments policies and efforts


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on regional economic integration. I


am saying all this because no
country in the world has grown on
its own without participation in the
global village and Malawi is no
exception.

It

is

through

participation

in

the

different

regional

economic

integration

initiatives that small countries like


Malawi will grow.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and
Gentlemen

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This years Trade Fair, is also about


celebrating

and

supporting

Malawians who are showcasing


their products despite numerous
challenges that they face. I say well
done

for

participating

in

this

important activity. My Government


is committed to facilitating the
hosting of such annual Trade Fairs.
It is through such fora that we sell
Malawi to potential investors and
trading partners. We, therefore,
need to embrace trade fairs as one
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platform to showcase products and


learn new ways of doing business.
In this regard, I would like to urge
all Malawians to take this event
seriously and to urge public officers
in Government to provide the
necessary support to participants in
such events.
Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen
Having gone through the stands in
this fair, I have noticed that there
are

many

Small

and

Medium

Enterprises participating in this Fair.


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My Government recognizes the


importance

of

SMEs

entrepreneurship
economic

as

growth

and

drivers
and

of

poverty

reduction.
Let us support our SMEs by buying
Malawian products. In so doing,
we

will

be

promoting

encouraging

and

industrialization

thereby creating jobs and reducing


the structural trade deficit.
In

addition,

encourage
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large

would

like

to

companies

to

develop
support

business
SMEs

linkages

and

buying

and

by

procuring goods and services from


SMEs

and

entering

into

smart

partnerships with them. In order to


ease accessibility of working capital
by these SMEs, Financial Institutions
operating in this country should
also develop innovative products
and matching grants that can grow
businesses.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

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My Government is aware that for


the private sector to flourish and
prosper,

they

need

proper

business environment and support


services that allow them to attract
financing, human capital, networks
and markets. The world has moved
towards trading along value chains
across borders. These value chains
are important avenues for the
private sector to add value to their
products,

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to

diversify

and

to

innovate. They offer opportunities


for new producers, including SMEs.
Within the last few months my
government has been in office, we
have worked tirelessly to develop
policies and strategies to facilitate
industrial development in line with
the

Malawi

Growth

and

Development Strategy. There is an


Industrial Strategy which is building
upon the agreed regional industrial
strategy and roadmap adopted at
the recently held SADC Summit of
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Heads of State and Government in


Zimbabwe. The strategy advocates
frontloading of industrialization to
stimulate

economic

Certainly,

Government

greater

role

to

play

growth.
has

toward

implementation of the strategy if


we are to benefit from the strategy
and the onus is on all of us to work
in

collaborative

Furthermore,

COMESA

manner.
countries

have also agreed to push for the


industrialization drive and thereby
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promote exports and economic


growth.
Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen
You will recall that Government
launched

the

National

Strategy

(NES)

which

supporting
diversification

the
drive.

Export
aims

at

export
There

are

many sectors in which Malawian


businesses have a real chance to
develop, grow and in time, export.
What the NES highlights is that the
Malawian
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people

have

comparative advantage in trading


in oil seeds, manufactures and sugar
products, amongst others.
Therefore, both the private sector
and the government have to play
their roles towards ensuring that the
NES is fully implemented for the
benefit of the people of Malawi.
With the NES we expect to see
Malawian

businesses

in

the

prioritized

sectors

grow,

add

greater value to products, move up


the
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value

chain,

and

internationalize in tandem with


consumer trends and demands. Of
course these are not the only
sectors where Malawi will excel in
the future. We are already working
on other existing sectors such as
services

trade

and

mining

to

complement the existing traditional


sectors.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
You

may

membership

wish
in

to

know

regional

that
and

multilateral blocks can help create


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increased markets for Malawian


goods and services, allow Malawi
to be involved at the negotiating
table as regional and global policies
are developed; and allow Malawi
to promote its needs and priorities
for trade related capacity building.
It

is

in

view

Government

of

these

that

has

recently

Trade

Facilitation

developed

National

Action

Plan

and

programmes that are aimed at


facilitating both national and cross
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border trade. These programmes


include the establishment of One
Stop

Border

neighbouring

Posts

with

the

countries,

implementation of the Simplified


Trade Regime (STR), streamlining
of

customs

documentation

and

number of customs agencies at the


border, the setting up of a Trade
Portal

and

Electronic

Single

Window, amongst others. Let me


take this opportunity to thank

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donors for the timely support


towards such initiatives.
In

order

to

promote

industrialization and export led


growth, Government is reviewing
the different incentives to stimulate
the growth of exports. This includes
reviewing all taxes that have an
impact on industrialization, exports
and stimulation of value addition.
In

addition,

Government

is

developing Special Economic Zones

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Framework

to

promote

value

addition through agro processing.


Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
To

promote

investment,

my

and

facilitate

Government

is

reviewing the investment policy,


established the One Stop Shop in
the Malawi Investment and Trade
Centre (MITC) which is up and
running. Amongst other initiatives,
Government

produced

Compendium

of

investment

projects last year in order to attract


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investment

in

the

prioritized

sectors. I am therefore pleased to


inform you that on 29th and 30th
June, 2015, Malawi will host the
first ever Investment Forum which
is expected to attract investments in
agriculture

and

manufacturing,

agro-processing,
tourism,

mining,

infrastructure transport, ICT and


telecommunication,

financial

services and energy. It is expected


that more than 300 prominent
investors from all over the world
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will participate in the Forum. I


would, therefore, like to urge local
investors to take advantage of the
Forum
projects

by

preparing

which

attract

bankable
investors

during the Forum. As we prepare


for the Forum, I would urge that as
business persons let us engage in
meaningful and strategic business
alliances

through

partnerships

with

public-private
the

view

to

contribute to the development of


our beautiful country.
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Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen


Government

will

continue

implement

to

appropriate

macroeconomic policies aimed at


reducing inflation and interest rates.
In terms of enhancing access to
finance, several programmes are
being undertaken including having
a fully functioning Development
Bank, provision of support to the
Export Development Fund, and
disbursement of Matching grants to
SMEs, amongst others.
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Distinguished Guests
The supply of reliable energy for
industrial development is vital to
Malawi.

Government

is

fast-

tracking the regional sourcing of


energy, intensifying investment in
the generation and distribution of
electricity,

and

also

the

diversification of energy sources


where renewable energies will be
promoted.
towards

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This

is

creating

fundamental
a

strong

foundation for development of


sustainable industries.
My government will also ensure
increased investment in research
and technology development by
allocating

adequate

resources

towards revamping the research


centres

and

utilization

of

information obtained from these


centres.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Finally, I wish to encourage the
local business community to take
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advantage of

opportunities

that

are available in other markets by


participating in the regional trade
fairs and exhibitions; this

will

provide you a platform to integrate


into regional value chains and
overcome

some

supply

side

constraints.
I wish to once again congratulate
all the exhibitors that have shown
exceptional skills in producing and
displaying their goods and services
and wish to encourage others to
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emulate the good example set by


their colleagues.
In conclusion, I would like to
reiterate that Malawi is definitely
on track moving forward. We
therefore

must

keep

the

momentum so that we continue


building our economy collectively.
The private sector, particularly the
Malawi Confederation of Chambers
of Commerce and Industry, must
stop blaming Government for not
doing much. Time has come for the
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private sector to offer practical


solutions to address challenges that
the business community is facing.
The role of Government is only to
provide an enabling environment
for the private sector through the
policy and regulatory environment.
Government does not do business
and I therefore call upon the
private sector to be aggressive and
innovative in finding solutions to
the problems it faces. Instead of
asking what Government can do
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for you, the private sector should


be reflecting on what they can do
for Government because we are in
this together. We sail or we sink
together!
With these remarks, I declare the
27th Malawi International Trade
Fair officially opened.
I thank you for your attention.
May God us all and bless mother
Malawi

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