Trade and Industry

Monday, 02 February 2009

Trade and Industry Performance in Malawi: Opportunities and Policy Challenges

  • Year: 2009
  • Organisation: TIPS
  • Author(s): Lawrence Mapemba
  • Countries and Regions: Malawi

The paper focuses on the conduct of trade and industrial policies in Malawi, their linkages and impacts on the performance of the trade and industry sectors. The study establishes that Malawi has gone through three stages of trade and industrial policy. From focusing on the production and trade of a few agricultural commodities during the colonial era, the authorities shifted, in the post-independence era to industrialise through import substitution policies. Following poor economic performance in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Government adopted economic liberalisation policies under the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) which, in fact, caused manufacturing activities to decline during the SAPs period. Substantial policy reforms ensued aimed at enhancing the performance of trade and industry. Government has adopted and applied a range of policy measures aimed at boosting investment and export incentives and regional integration and miscellaneous trade agreements were pursued to expand the market. In spite of steps towards a favourable policy environment, little progress has been made in particular areas such as that of the diversification of exports.