Access to Markets

 

The scope of this TWG includes Trade Policy; Trade Facilitation; Export Promotion and Facilitation; Foreign Exchange Policy; Macroeconomic Policy as it relates to promoting export growth. In terms of market access, the Ministry has negotiated substantial  external market access preferences; namely Everything But Arms (EBA) with the EU, African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) with the USA, WTO Duty-Free-Quota-Free for LDCs, as well as bilateral trade agreements with Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, and China for duty free access of products of Malawi origin. However, as rightly prioritized under the NES, Malawi has a greater advantage to focus on regional markets which are more accessible given cost of transport and less stringent standards.

 

The TWG has been focusing on formulation and validation of a consolidated National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTF-AP). The process has been finalized, bringing into one plan a prioritized and sequenced list of all trade facilitation actions that are required to support the NES. In addition, the TWG is overseeing the revision of the Trade Policy developing a Trade Negotiations and management Strategy which are being supported by UNDP and DFID Trade Advocacy Fund (TAF) respectively.

 

Immediate actions that are required to push the trade facilitation agenda are in the following areas:

Establishment of a Trade Portal:  this requires a functional MoIT website linked to all trade-related institutions with regular update of all trade intelligence information including trade agreements, available markets and market requirements at product level, procedures & process for export and acquiring trade-related certificates or documents, etc.

 

Implementation of an Integrated Risk Management System at the border: - first of all, implement the directive to reduce border agencies to five (5). Ensure that all remaining five border agencies work together in cargo inspection and agree on modalities that accredits a client as a low or high risk importer/exporter.

 

 

Establishment of a National Single Window (NSW): the implementation of this project is lagging over six months. There is high need for the Ministry of Industry and Trade to drive MRA and the Trade Hub to clearly define the roadmap and the financing gaps.