Govt says innovation key for economic development

ZOMBA: Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism says it will continue to work hand in hand with Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) in a move to deal with anti competitive practices on the market.

Ken Ndala, who is Principal Secretary in the Ministry, said this at Gynkhana Club Ground in Zomba on Wednesday during the commemoration of 2018 World Competition Day under the theme Innovation and competition in the Malawian economy.

Ndala said government is aware that there are some business traders on the market who continue to use anti competitive practices like price fixing, abuse of dominance among others which he said affects some business operators to survive.

The theme for this year is in line with government vision of ensuring that innovation should be key in accelerating fair competition on the market. We would want to see more innovations coming that promote economic development, said Ndala.

Ndala further said government is aware that innovations have brought a lot of fake products on the market saying the authority shall continue to develop policies that will promote fair trading and in the same process protecting consumers.

He added, I must say all government machineries including Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) are vigilant on the market because as the country is making strides in trade there are also a lot of things that are coming and needs certification.

All in all we want traders to embrace innovation that can be linked to value addition on the market because we recognize to survive on the market one needs to create various products that are in line with the world we are living in.

Executive Director for CFTC Charlotte Malonda noted that there is growing unfair trading practices that financial institutions are practicing adding the competition regulatory body is watching and shall leave no stone unturned to punish such institutions.

Malonda said many financial institutions are betraying people in the name of technology problem saying innovations are suppose to bring happiness and not sadness.

Some players use the word terms and conditions apply. This word is too vague and not allowed in business and in fact is unfair in trading. Let me assure all Malawians that we will bring sanity on the market by dealing with all problems including negatives being brought by innovations, said Malonda.

She said digital financial services should take into consideration the consumer welfare because it is where unfair trade practices are rampant and her institution is closely monitoring all service providers that are trading badly.

Mayor for Zomba City Christopher Jana has since commended CFTC for holding the function in the city saying this has alerted all business people on the importance of competitions and fair trading practices.

He has since urged the commission to go even in hard to reach areas in order to sensitize the public on the matter.

The function was spiced up by dances, quiz as well as speeches and started with a consumer parade led by Prison Brass band starting from Fairway Puma Filling Station through Bus Depot to Gymnkhana Club Ground.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA