Starting next year, all Malawians shall – on March 18 – wear, eat and use Malawian products as government’s deliberate strategy to support local products and grow the country’s manufacturing base for both local consumption and export.
The decree was coincidentally made on Friday March 18 by President Arthur Peter Mutharika when he officially launched The Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS) at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.
Mutharika in his address, noted that time has come for Malawians to play a huge role in spurring investment and local manufacturing
“We are importing too much because we are not patriotic enough to promote our own industries and services. Under Buy Malawi Strategy, we are talking about investment. We are talking of change of business strategies,” pointed out President Mutharika.
The Malawi leader proceeded to coach local businesses on how they can best utilize the aspect of pricing to compete favourably on the market.
“There have been many times when Malawian producers have over-priced themselves out of the market. Please, be realistic with your pricing; people will not buy your products simply because you are Malawian, but because your products are of high quality, and your prices are reasonable,” he advised adding that local businesses have always manipulated prices of goods and services upwards when fuel prices go up while failing to do likewise when the same price goes down.
On business innovation, President Mutharika asked local businesses to diversify and think outside the box.
“Why should the private sector only wait for government tenders and contracts, instead of producing value added products and engage in import substitution?” querried he.
He added: “ I would therefore like to challenge the private sector to be innovative, to diversify their portfolios, and become aggressive in producing value added products, for both the domestic, and foreign markets. We must produce; and promote what we produce”.
Besides the March 18 decree, the President has also asked for direct incentives to local businesses from government departments and private economic players.
The strategy is being driven by Ministry of Industry and Trade and has chosen the State President as champion.
The event was attended by mainly local business gurus such as Leston Mulli of Mulli brothers, Mike Mlombwa of Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi as well as other entrepreneurs.