Malawi Trade

Subchapters:

  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

The EU is an important trading partner for Malawi. Malawi belongs to the so-called least developed countries (LDCs), therefore it has free and duty-free access to European markets as part of the “Everything but Arms” program. From Malawi’s point of view, mutual trade has a long-term positive balance. Exports to the EU from Malawi are dominated by tobacco, tea, coffee, sugar and fish. Imports from the EU are mostly machinery and mechanical equipment, vehicles and pharmaceutical products.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 152.3 122.7 141.3 112.3 109.1
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 337.4 280.8 266.2 201.6 214.6
Balance with the EU (million EUR) 185 158.1 124.9 89.4 105.5

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic’s trade balance with Malawi has been negative for a long time. Exports from the Czech Republic to the country are minimal, although in the last two years they have seen an approximately threefold increase. The main export items are toys, information and telecommunications technology and its components. The majority of imports are tobacco imports. For 2021, however, the volume of imports fell by roughly half compared to 2020. Next to tobacco, sugar appeared in it as the second most important item. A significant factor limiting imports from the Czech Republic is the very low purchasing power of the population and the slow development of industrial production in Malawi.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (million CZK) 12.2 6.3 15.7 31.9 44.3
Import to the Czech Republic (million CZK) 257.2 120.6 102.8 133.2 74.4
Balance with the Czech Republic (million CZK) -245.0 -114.4 -87.2 -101.3 -30.4

Source: businesscarriers.com

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

Due to the underdevelopment of the national economy and low export potential, Malawi suffers from chronically high trade deficits. The country is dependent on imports of fuel and most consumer goods. It exports almost exclusively agricultural products, mostly tobacco, which represents roughly 55% of total exports. Malawi’s main trading partners are South Africa, Zambia, China and the USA.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) 620.9 680.9 780.9 662.6 751.1
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 3,068.1 3,341.6 3,861.9 3,641.7 3,744.0
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) -2,447.2 -2,660.8 -3,081.0 -2,979.0 -2,992.9

Source: EIU, Eurostat

Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment inflows to Malawi have dropped significantly since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, from US$822 million in 2019 to US$98 million in 2020 (according to UNCTAD data). Most foreign investments go to the agricultural sector. However, Malawi is also seeking investments in the mining industry, due to the discovered deposits of rare earths, and the possible occurrence of oil is also being investigated. Malawi also offers investment opportunities in agricultural processing, manufacturing and tourism. The main foreign investors in the country are Australia, China, India, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Great Britain. There are no Czech foreign direct investments in Malawi.

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

Malawi is part of the East and Southern Africa region, with which the EU negotiated an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It was signed by Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Comoros; Malawi is still outside the agreement.

Contracts with the Czech Republic

No bilateral agreement has been concluded between the Czech Republic and Malawi.

Developmental cooperation

Malawi is practically dependent on foreign development aid. In recent years, the Czech Republic has also implemented small development projects here. Thanks to the program of the National Development Bank Guarantee of Foreign Development Cooperation, Czech entrepreneurs and investors in Malawi can obtain a guarantee for a loan of up to 80% of the loan principal amounting to CZK 50 million with a guarantee period of up to 8 years.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Malawi is not included in the ILO.

 

Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)

The telephone numbers for emergency calls are 997 (police), 998 (emergency services) and 999 (fire brigade). Health facilities and telephone connections in Malawi are at a low level, especially in rural areas. Even basic medicines and clean needles may not be available. Emergency services are limited. Medical facilities in Malawi generally do not meet European standards in terms of equipment and availability of medical supplies. Private clinics in the biggest cities offer better care:

Lilongwe:

African Bible College (ABC) Community Clinic, Lilongwe, tel.: +265 1 761670

Good Hope Clinic, Lilongwe, tel.: +265 997 69 16 06, www.goodhopeclinicmw.com/

Seventh Day Adventist Hospital Lilongwe, Lilongwe, tel.: +265 1 771 543

Blantyre:

Adventist Hospital, Kabula Hill Rd, Blantyre, tel: +265 1 820488; +265 1 820537

Mwaiwathu Hospital, Old Chileka Road, Blantyre, Tel: 265 1 686 946/947/948/949, www.mwaiwathuhospital.org/.

Important web links and contacts

Government:

Office of President and Cabinet: https://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/presidency

Ministry of Defence: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries

Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs: http://www.finance.gov.mw/

Ministry of Education: http://www.education.gov.mw/

Ministry of Energy: https://www.energy.gov.mw/

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.foreignaffairs.gov.mw/

Ministry of Health: http://www.health.gov.mw/

Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare: http://www.gender.gov.mw/

Ministry of Labour: http://www.labour.gov.mw/

Ministry of Justice: http://www.justice.gov.mw/

Ministry of Local Government: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries#

Ministry of Information and Digitization: https://ict.gov.mw/

Ministry of National Unity: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries#

Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries#

Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries

Ministry of Trade: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries

Ministry of Lands: http://www.lands.gov.mw/

Ministry of Transport and Public Works: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries

Ministry of Mining: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries

Ministry of Homeland Security: http://www.homeland.gov.mw/

Ministry of Water and Sanitation: http://www.malawi.gov.mw/index.php/parliament/government-ministries#

Ministry of Youth and Sports: http://www.youth.gov.mw/

Chamber of Commerce:

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry: http://www.mccci.org/

Investment Promotion Agency:

Malawi Investment and Trade Centre: https://www.mitc.mw/

Tax and Customs Office:

Malawi Revenue Authority: https://www.mra.mw/

Central Bank:

Reserve Bank of Malawi: https://www.rbm.mw/

Malawi Trade