The Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS) Secretariat on Monday, August 2, 2019 held its first ever BMS member interface meeting with the aim of bringing together all BMS members to discuss challenges faced in their pursuit to develop the local goods and service industry.
In her opening remarks, The Director of Trade in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Ms Christina Chatima applauded the members for taking charge in ensuring the Buy Malawi Strategy comes to fruition.
She further commended BMS members for participating in the Secretariat’s activities as well as the importance they have always attached to the strategy.
“As a coordinating Ministry for the Buy Malawi Strategy, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that all registered BMS members are protected against unfair trading practices.”
“We will also continue to support the private sector by creating and improving an enabling environment in order to boost innovative production of goods and services within Malawi.” said Chatima
The engagement session provided a good platform for BMS Members to identify common issues to do with markets, policy direction then further proposed solutions that will be championed by the BMS Secretariat.
Most members’ worries related to access to local markets as well as infiltration of goods that use uncharted routes.
“Our biggest challenge is local markets as we believe our product is the best on the market and needs to be consumed locally. Unless we supply enough for the local market, only then we can comfortably export.” said Anna Msowoya, Executive Director for Kwithu Kitchen.
The local market however has been flooded with smuggled products and counterfeits which not only affect the local products industry but can also be harmful when consumed since most of the products have no proper labels indicating if they are certified for safety by any Bureau of Standards.
“Products using uncharted routes are killing local business, making it difficult for local producers to compete on the market” said Gloria Zimba, Business Development, Legal & Corporate Affairs Manager for Chibuku Products.
The Buy Malawi Strategy ensures consumers safety as all products under the Strategy are certified by Malawi Bureau of Standards.