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 Malawi : An untapped Export Destination

According to the World Economic Outlook 2013, Malawi is expected to emerge from its 2012 economic crisis and return to solid growth.
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Doing Business in Malawi

The Doing Business section sheds light on Malawi’s sourcing preferences, business relationship, language, business environment and culture.

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About Malawi

Malawi is a landlocked country in Southern Africa sharing common borders with Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Malawi is a small country about the size of Iceland..

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 mal12 Over the past 4 years it can clearly be inferred from the chart above that the value of domestic exports has decreased from Rs 5.67 million in 2010 to Rs 2.5 million in 2012. Our exports to Malawi comprises mainly of other manufacturing products such as articles of plastics, paperboard, instruments and apparatus etc.Read More

Malawi – External Trade

Malawi is heavily dependent on imports and its principal imports include petroleum products, fertilizers, semi-manufactured goods, worn clothing, consumer goods, and transportation equipment.

Malawi has over the past 6 years through 2012 witnessed systematic trade deficit.

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Market Potential for Textile and Apparel

In 2012, Malawi’s imports of main textile and apparel products stood at USD 31 million with the main sourcing markets being China, Thailand, India and South Africa.

However Mauritius has a good potential to penetrate Malawi since we benefit from duty free access under the COMESA FTA. Our study revealed that there is a high demand for high value added products.

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Market Potential for Footwear Sector

Malawi’s total imports for footwear products reached USD 11.8 million in 2012 compared to USD 9.7 million in 2011, representing an increase of 22%. The main sourcing markets are China (80%), South Africa (10%) and Zimbabwe (3%). Industrial and safety shoes represent good potential for Mauritian footwear manufacturers.

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Market Potential for Chemical Sector

The imports of soaps and detergents amounted to USD 51.4 million in 2012.  The total imports for washing & cleaning preparations reached approximately to USD 12.2 million in 2012, accounting for 52% in Malawi’s share of imports, Zambia is the largest market, followed by Kenya (25.9%) and South Africa (13.1%).

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Market Potential for Furniture Sector

Malawi’s imports of furniture amounted to USD 23.8 million with South Africa and China having the highest market share.

The survey indicated that the mass market is price driven.  There are few other factors such as quality, design, comfort and durability that also influence the purchase of furniture

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Market Potential for Light Engineering Sector

Spareparts for 4×4 and 2×4 and passenger cars such as brake lining and clutches have some fair potential to penetrate the market.

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Market Potential for Agro Sector

Sweets and candies have received positive feedback and have good potential to penetrate the market.

There is good market potential for “Vodka” among a niche market as the price was considered competitive and packaging depicts high quality.

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Market Potential for Paper Printing and Publishing

Imports of this product category reached USD 47.8 million in 2012 with UK remaining Malawi’s largest trading partner accounting for at least 52% of total imports. With around 28% share of Malawi’s total imports, Germany is the second most important market.

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