The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in South-East Africa, bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. Malawi is divided into three regions; South, Central and North Malawi. The economy of Malawi is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for about 1/3 of the GDP and contributing to 90% of export revenues. Malawi’s trade policy is aimed at improving market access and have therefore removed tariffs on trade with SADC member countries; making the cross border opportunities very attractive.
Malawi’s transport system currently is made up of 15 451km of roads, 74% consisting of earth/gravel surface while 26% is paved. The countries infrastructure consists of road and railway services that connects Malawian imports/exports to the ports of Beira and Nacala in Mozambique , as well as the port of Durban in South Africa.
The country is consistently investing money to improving the quality of road networks. The maximum road speed is between 80-120km/h on every freeway and with the help of Globaltrack’s fleet management solution, Webtrack you can manage all different types of violations which includes speeding. This is configurable to routes and areas, which also entails time limits.
The main goods that are exported from South Africa to Malawi are machinery, chemicals, fuel, plastic, rubber and transport equipment. Malawi mainly exports agricultural commodities with tobacco, sugar, tea, apparel and clothing to Kenya and South Africa. The demand increases for the transporting of goods during the holiday seasons’ (Easter and December periods).
The opportunities for earth moving companies to operate in Malawi looks good as government have approved numerous construction projects for 2016 through to 2018 which will require the importing of construction equipment that is not available in Malawi.
Cross border operators will be able to optimise business opportunities through partnerships with the exporting industries.
Some factors to consider, when planning cross border operations are high transportation costs due to lengthy routes to the sea ports and international corridors that lead to the major ports like Nacala, Beira, Dar‐es‐Salaam and Durban. Malawi’s Government are working with the transport sector to rehabilitate the corridors and border posts that reduce the transit time and cost.
The Automobile Association of South Africa provides important cross border information to Malawi that is useful when planning for the next cross border trip.
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