Malawi finalized and validated its DTIS Update (DTISU) with the World Bank in 2013. The DTISU brings up-to-date the 2003 DTIS and focuses on identifying and quantifying the trade costs constraining Malawi’s competitiveness within regional and international markets as the basis for developing a streamlined and updated Action Matrix. The DTISU identifies trade-related constraints holding Malawi back from diversifying and deepening its production base, and increasing trade.
Trade, Industry and Private Sector Development (TIP) Sector-wide Approach Programme (SWAp) - TIP SWAp programming was launched to support the implementation of the NES and the MGDS. Moreover, under the TIP SWAp, a Joint Sector Strategy was developed to support the incorporation of trade activities into the sector strategy. The TIP SWAp also provides a platform for Government donor consultation and coordination on Aid for Trade (AfT).
The EIF National Implementation Unit (NIU) has been strengthened and consolidated in the TIP SWAp and NES structures. The NIU is composed of Government officials and is attached to the Department of Foreign Trade, supported by an external project advisor. Apart from the EIF, the NIU team supports the implementation of the NES and TIP SWAp programmes and to some extent, the trade facilitation programme.
Trade has also been incorporated into the MGDS II, covered in Theme I, Sub-theme IV on Industry and Trade. In 2013, codes of trade activities that support the MGDS II were incorporated into the Public Sector budget preparation framework and NES activities were incorporated into the national budget.
The NES launched in December 2012 complements the MGDS, and is the main trade strategy targeting national competitiveness and exports in prioritized sectors such as oil seeds, sugar and manufacturing. The NES has been implemented through the TIP SWAp framework supported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT)/NIU.
With support from the EIF NIU, a Trade Policy Research Unit was established in the MIT to provide training for staff on trade policy analysis and research skills. A trade mainstreaming module was also rolled out with UNDP to help define a capacity building plan for MIT and other stakeholders/line Ministries.
A Tier 2 programme consisting of two project components on promoting of smallholder farmer linkages to agro-processors and supporting the agro-processing special economic zone road map as well as the promotion of value-added exports was developed under the coordination of the NIU and approved by the EIF Board for implementation in September 2014.
A trade promotion film, "Connecting local skills to markets" was developed in 2013 by the NIU to promote the production, marketing and exports of the arts and crafts industry in Malawi.