For long time Malawians have appetite of buying things outside the country than exporting the same.
No wonder, the former president Dr Bingu Wa Mutharika repeatedly said lets turn our economy from importing to an exporting country.
According to the Reserve Bank data, Malawi imports $3Billion worth of goods and exports only $2Billion worth of products, living out $ 1Billion deficit of Dollars.
This disparity is a great cause of strain to the economy and gives pressure to the already scarce dollar.
If you go to Shopright, Game Stores, you will find alot of products which are imported but can be sourced locally.
This is the time as a country, to import products which cannot be sourced within the country.
Its time Government encourages local manufacturing and punishes chain stores importing things which can be found locally.
Its time Malawi should start making their own tooth picks.
We have alot of bamboos within the country why should Malawi import these from China?
According to Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) Chief Executive Officer, Malawi used to require an average of about $300 million worth of products but when prices on the international market rose, the country came to a level that needed almost $600 million despite that the country’s export base did not double.
“And this put a lot of strain on our major importers because they could not readily access dollars and, eventually, we relied on whatever we had in our strategic reserves,” Kachaje said.
National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) Director of Operations Micklas Reuben says quantities of the commodity being brought into the country are not enough.
“There is a problem of forex shortage. There are also delays in payment of invoices for suppliers and in getting letters of credit confirmed. All these impact the flow of the product. As such, we are not importing to the expected levels,” Reuben is quoted as saying.
He added that monthly consumption of fuel is around 51 million litres but the country is importing around 40.8 million litres.
All this points to the fact that there is great need to double our efforts in venturing into manufacturing and source more Forex.
Lets encourage Malawians to buy our own products such as furniture , cooking products. This will help NOCMA raise its its stocks from their strategic reserves.
According to Nocma, the country has 60 million litres of fuel reserves for both diesel and petrol in all the three reserves in the country.
Thus Blantyre depot has a storage capacity of 18 million litres of diesel and seven million litres of petrol, just like Lilongwe depot, while Mzuzu has a capacity of 10 million litres for both diesel and petrol.
Additional information sourced from Times Newspapers.