Malawi and Tanzania are set to hold a joint trade and investment forum.
The forum will be held on Juky 26 and 27 this year at Mkapa Conference Centre in Mbeya Tanzania where over 500 delegates from the two countries will participate.
Speaking Tuesday during the second joint preparatory meeting for the forum in Mzuzu, Tanzania High Commissioner to Malawi Benedicto Mashiba said the two countries need to improve lives of their people through trade and investment.
“Being neighbours alone is not enough, we need to do a lot in trade and investment to improve people’s lives through trade and investment forums,” Mashiba said.
“Geographically, you see that only Tanzania has an outlet to the ocean between the two countries; so Malawi benefits as well since its commodities from overseas pass through the Tanzanian port,” he said.
He added that Tanzania will also benefit from Malawi as it is an agro-based country that produces some commodities that Tanzania does not.
Mashiba cited tea, coffee, maize and groundnuts as crops that Tanzania largely gets from Malawi.
Malawi’s Director of Private Sector Development in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Esther Mwimba said Africa must intensify intra-trade and business so as to maximize the gains it can produce from its own resources.
Mwimba said the initiative for the trade and investment Forum in Mbeya is a timely intervention, as the two nations have been trading with each other for quite a long time.
She said the trade and investment forum is meant to explore opportunities and look at the how impediments to trade and investments could be dealt with.
The director cited non-tariff barriers that traders face when doing cross border trade especially small and medium enterprises as a major barrier.
The joint trade and investment forum is a resolution following a Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC) between the two governments which was held in February, 2017.