Bingu wa Mutharika Conference Centre(Lilongwe) – The international competitiveness of Malawi’s businesses has been given a boost by the launch of two new trade information systems: the Trade Map Malawi, and the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) Trade Information Portal.

ITC Trade Map, which provides online access to one of the world’s largest trade databases, has been customised and embedded into the website of the National Statistical Office (NSO), allowing for multiple ways of displaying monthly, quarterly or yearly Malawi trade data in tables, graphs or maps. Trade Map Malawi is a key achievement of ‘Malawi: Trade Statistics and Improved Information Systems’, a two-year project being implemented jointly by the NSO, MITC and the International Trade Centre (ITC), and financed by the European Union.

Meanwhile, the Trade Information Portal which has been developed by ITC for MITC, serves as a hub for trade-related intelligence needed for exporters to gain access to new markets. The portal provides users with up-to-date information on market access conditions, business opportunities and trade incentives and agreements. It will also provide analytical data on production, consumption and trade flows.

Speaking at the launch at the Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, Ms Mercy Kanyuka, Commissioner of Statistics at the NSO, said: ‘Trade Map Malawi not only caters to the business community in Malawi, but also offers users of the platform the opportunity to access relevant trade data from anywhere in the world.’

Mr Cliff Chiunda, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Malawi, said: ‘The understanding, analysis and monitoring of past and present export performance is critical to how we orient our policy interventions in the future.’ Mr Chiunda thanked Ambassador Marchel Gerrmann, Head of the EU Delegation to Malawi who was also present at the event, for the continued support of the EU in making the new tools a reality.

Clement Kumbemba, Chief Executive Officer of the MITC, said: ‘The Trade Information Portal will be significant in helping to improve the information services provided by MITC, allowing it to better manage and disseminate the vast array of the available trade-related information.’
In preparation of the launch, staff at several institutions has been trained in methodologies on using the new Malawi-specific trade tools, in addition to the ITC’s Market Analysis Tools. The technical trainings have enabled the officers to perform quality control on customs data and generate useful trade indicators.

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