The government of Malawi and Zimbabwe have inked a bilateral trade agreement at the Umodzi Park in Lilongwe on Monday to enhance trade between the two countries.
Speaking at the event, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Malawi, Nancy Saungwenya, commended Malawi government for accepting to re-sign the trade agreement through and the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC).
She said with the agreements in place, Zimbabwean companies can export directly to Malawian companies using distributorship and agents.
Malawi’s Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe said the agreement is a follows up on a previous preferential bilateral trading agreement signed in 1995 between both governments.
Saungwenya encouraged Malawian companies to partner with local distributors in Zimbabwe for data on consumer buying patterns, and market information trends.
The main trade between Zimbabwe and Malawi as of 2019 includes rough wood, agrochemicals, seeds, maize, corrugated paperboard, cement, iron and steel, paperboard, cellulose wadding, cellulose fibres among others.
ZimTrade has facilitated the participation of twenty indigenous companies at the Malawi Solo Exhibition for the first time which is being held under the theme ‘Zimbabwe-Malawi Trade Exhibition: Kulimbikitsa Ubale Pamalonda’.
Both countries are signatories and members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional economic blocs.
This provides that registered traders exporting under trading agreements and awarded originating status under either or both blocs can export duty-free and quota-free from Malawi to Zimbabwe and vice versa.
Zimbabwe and Malawi also share a preferential bilateral trading agreement implemented in 1995, with a 25% domestic value-added requirement and exporters can take advantage of this.