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13/07/2016: MALAWI TO LAUNCH WEB-BASED TRADE PORTAL ON THURSDAY

Lilongwe, July 12, 2016, Mana: The Malawi Government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism will on Thursday this week officially launch the Malawi Trade Portal at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel.

The Trade Portal, which is a one-stop website for trade-related regulatory information for import, export and transit trade, complements World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation, to which Malawi is a signatory, which obliges governments to be transparent and facilitate information to businesses.

In a statement released by the Principal Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Cliff Chiunda the Trade Portal is part of Government’s initiative to turn Malawi into a producing and exporting country.

Chiunda said that Government has embarked on a drive to facilitate trade and investment and that the development and launch of the Trade Portal is aimed at providing easy access to trade-related regulatory information to traders and businesses in a bid to enhance transparency and accountability.

Information that can be found on the Portal includes: all commercial laws and regulations governing import, export and transit of commercial goods, procedures and requirements for processing licenses and various permits, and the samples of these application forms that can be downloaded.

The portal will inform traders on the legal requirements to be met as they import or export your goods. It will also alert traders about the duties, and other fees, or exemptions that are applicable.

The portal also contains information on which goods are prohibited, restricted, and other non-tariff measures; the entire catalogue of applicable tariffs linked to commodity classification is also available.

The portal will help reduce the time traders spend to get proper documentation to do trade, resulting in improved ease of doing business due to reduced trading time and cost.

According to the statement, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Joseph Mwanamvekha, is expected to launch the trade portal at Mount Soche Hotel on Thursday from 9 o’clock in the morning

The trade portal—which has been developed with financial and technical assistance from the World Bank Group—is expected to help improve Malawi’s rankings in World Bank’s Doing Business Index and the Global Competitiveness Index.

By Frederick Ndala

Mana/fn/fwm