BUSINESS

Smuggling affects growth of local companies and SMEs, Ministry of Trade

By Enalla Mnyenyembe – Mana.

Ministry of Trade has expressed concern over smuggling of products into the country, saying the malpractice affects the growth of local manufacturing companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking during the Buy Malawi Mzuzu Sales event Friday, Director of Trade for the Domestic Sector in the ministry, Charity Musonzo said one of the major challenges local manufacturing companies face is unfair competition from smuggled and imported products.

“There is an influx of smuggled products on our domestic market, but as government we are working to address the issue,” said Musonzo.

She added that government, through Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), is on the ground addressing trade-related issues as they arise.

“We also have high level ministerial task force which is working to address the issue of smuggling and influx of smuggled products on the local markets,” she said.

On his part, Operations Manager for Chibuku Products, Patrick Dzanja, said the biggest challenge his company faces are the availability of counterfeit and cheap products on the market besides the COVID-19 pandemic which he said has negatively affected his company’s business.

“Malawi Bureau of Standards in collaboration with our company is helping to tackle the issue through mass awareness on the effects of consuming such counterfeit products,” said Dzanja.

He was however noncommittal to avail exact statistics on losses his company has encountered due to the influx of counterfeit products and COVID-19 effects.

The ‘Buy Malawi’ Mzuzu Sales event is the third after similar events were held in Blantyre during Easter Holiday and Lilongwe during the 57th Independence Celebrations.

The events aim at promoting and advertising locally made products with the goal of enhancing local manufacturing companies and SMEs.

Mana/em/gpb/thz

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