Malawi government open to legal cement imports

Malawi government open to legal cement imports
Published: 20 April 2016

Tagged Under: imports Malawi 

Malawi's government is issuing licences for the importation of cement. The legally imported cement is said to be bringing competition and stabilising the prices of cement in the country that has been welcomed by property investors, reported All Africa.

Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson, Wiskes Mkombezi said government issues the cement importation licences in order to protect the consumers from exploitation of exorbitant prices on the monopolising local industry.

He said the licences were issued in order to "regulate and bring sanity to the cement trade" and also curb smuggling of the product.

He said with imported cement, there is no shortage of supply even in under-served areas. The ministry is encouraging other investors to import cement and pay import duty in order to promote competition in the industry and ensure that prices of cement are affordable to many poor Malawians.

However, the ministry warned against smuggled cement, saying all imports should be cleared by the ministry to avoid bringing products into the country that may be "injurious to the public health, public morals and others."

The local cement manufactures strongly challenged the import licences. Aslam Gaffar the managing director of Cement Products Limited and Lafarge cement director Ilse Borshoff claim cement imports are threatening jobs for local people.