Economist advocates for import substitution

Renowned economist Professor Ben Kalua from the University of Malawi  has proposed import substitution as one of the solutions to the scarcity of foreign exchange.

While commenting on the lack of foreign exchange the country is facing, Kalua said one of the pressures attributing to the problem is the country’s heavy reliance on imports.

As a solution, Kalua hinted that the nation needs to reduce some products that it imports and instead look for solutions within if they can be produced locally.

“Can we import substitute? Can we substitute with local goods the things that we import? And that will alleviate the demand side.”

Kalua pointed out that there is need for serious consideration on diversification of the crops that the country exports apart from tobacco.

He said this as one way of looking at the aspect of increasing the imports that the country runs as currently the it only has a few export crops.

Kalua said there is need to diversify from agricultural exports but also out of agricultural exports.

“We need to diversify out of agricultural exports by finding other things that are not agricultural exports,” Kalua said.

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