By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
Malawi stands to benefit from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa)’s industrial strategy following approval of an action plan and regional guidelines on local content policy.
Last week, member states adopted two instruments that pave the way for implementation strategy.
It is aimed at supporting structural transformation of regional economies through sustainable and inclusive industrialisation.
In a statement, Comesa urges member states to integrate activities of the regional action plan into their national industrial development plans for implementation.
Specific targets include increasing value added products and exports as a percentage of (GDP) from the current estimate of 9 percent to 29 percent by 2026, increasing the share of manufacturing to GDP to at least 20 percent by 2026.
The strategy also aims at increasing intra-regional manufactured exports relative to total manufactured imports to the region from the current 7 percent to 20 percent by 2026.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Mayeso Msokera, said member states could realign and integrate their national industrial plans and local content polices to the regional guidelines.
“The region has potential to industrialise and increase intra-trade, if there is increased utilisation of locally sourced goods and services.
“For example, currently, Malawi does not have a tannery that can process hides to finished leather, but has-state-of the-art leather design studio in Blantyre, which can produce high quality footwear,” Msokera said.
He said, by strengthening regional leather value chains, Malawi may cooperate with other member states in supplying leather products.