TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Malawi: Expert calls for SMEs’ consortium to better utilise AGOA

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 Published: | LUKE BISANI

Source: Malawi24.com

An expert on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has called for the need to have a consortium to help in meeting the demand for local products on the international market.

This comes at a time when Malawi producers are failing to meet the demand on the international market despite the country being included to enjoy the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Speaking after visiting the Kwithu Kitchen women group, United States Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer expressed worry over underproduction of goods for the international market.

Palmer added that Malawi should take advantage of AGOA that was signed to help economies from developing countries like Malawi.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi24, Small and Medium Enterprise Development specialist McDonald Mkandawire has called for a need to have consortium that will help in coordinating local producers.

“It’s possible that they can create that appetite for the international meet and to meet the demand we need to have a consortium that will see all SMEs operating under one umbrella, that consortium will have database of who is producing what and in what volumes this can help improve production,” said Mkandawire.

He further urged authorities to consider helping the capacity of SMEs through lowering of interest rates.

“The interests in Malawi are just very high and you will find out that these SMEs work to repay the loans and not to develop their production. We need also to flex some conditions that are attached when getting a bank loan, they are asked to have a collateral and most of them they don’t have tangible assets like houses, they live in rented houses,” he added.

AGOA, Title I, Trade and Development Act of 2000; is a piece of legislation that was approved by the U.S. Congress in May 2000.

The purpose of this legislation is to assist economies of sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States and the region. After completing its initial 15-year period of validity, the AGOA legislation was extended on 29 June 2015 by a further 10 years, to 2025.

Related News

Malawi, US seek to boost bilateral trade, investment

Malawi, US seek to boost bilateral trade, investment

Acting U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Demetrios Marantis met March 29 with Malawi President Joyce Banda in Washington for discussions of how both governments can stimulate two-way trade and investment, strengthen Malawi's business environment and contribute to regional growth. In 2012, two-way U.S.-Malawi trade was $129.9 million — a 7 percent increase from 2011. U.S....

01 April, 2013
The United States' partnership with Africa (by Hillary Clinton)

The United States' partnership with Africa (by Hillary Clinton)

[Opinion] Last month, I went on a nine-country trip that took me from West Africa, to East Africa and the Horn, to Southern Africa. At every stop, I saw how America is working with our African partners-governments, the private sector, and civil society-to deliver concrete benefits for people. This work doesn't always draw headlines, and too few Africans and Americans are...

28 September, 2012
Malawi officials in Miami to discuss trade opportunities

Malawi officials in Miami to discuss trade opportunities

A trade delegation from the African nation of Malawi recently visited Miami for talks with government and business leaders. Miami-Dade County Commission Vice Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson and members of the Miami-Dade Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) hosted the visitors on April 1 at the Stephen P. Clark Center in downtown Miami. The meeting...

21 April, 2011
Malawi's AGOA exports under pressure

Malawi's AGOA exports under pressure

Malawi's exports to the US through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) have fallen for the last two years and government has said it will jack up its actions to improve the situation. Malawi reaped US$44.4m in 2008 as compared to US$50.8m it realised in 2007 and the country has so far amassed US$9.7m in exports in the first quarter of the year projecting a decline...

10 June, 2009