Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) Chief Executive Officer Clement Kumbemba says small and medium enterprises in the country can grow fast if they utilise the export market.
Currently most SME's find it difficult to export products primarily because of high transportation costs to the ocean but also a huge appetite for imports.
Speaking on the side-lines of a one day Malawi Nacala Corridor project access to markets workshop for SME's Kumbemba said it was embarrassing that we even import shoes, shirts and suits things that could be manufactured locally.
One of the main goals of Malawi Nacala Value Addition project according to Kumbemba is to provide technical assistance to businesses on how to access and maintain export markets.
He disclosed that it was with this in mind that MITC organised the workshop to sensitize the SME'on how they can take advantage of the Nacala Corridor.
Said Kumbemba: "Through the diagnostic study that formed the basis of the nature of assistance being provided under the project, it was confirmed that small and medium enterprises face numerous challenges that counteract their attempts to penetrate the export market, which may be profitable than the local market."
Kumbemba said in view of these constraints, the project will equip SME's with the necessary information and skills to improve their export businesses and also assists them to identify and supply the export markets.
Facilitator of the training Holland based Kasper Kerper who works for Enclude consulting, challenged the SME's to seriously consider taking the export market seriously if they are to make quick gains.
"It does not matter whether the country is landlocked or not but if you produce quality goods you can easily export them," said Kerper.
One of the participants Endrina Makunganya Maxwell commended MITC for organising the training saying it was an eye opener which will help them upscale production since they have been trained on how to access markets.
Makunganya who is one of the Directors at Dwale Suppliers and General Dealers described the training as an eye opener which will help many SME's to take issues of quality seriously if they are to meet international trade requirements.