By Patricia Kapulula
Lilongwe, September 25, Mana: President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has appealed to development partners for deliberate measures that would ease supply chain disruptions on trade.
The president made the appeal yesterday in his maiden address which was delivered virtually to the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The Malawi leaderwho was addressing the Summit as Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) said LDCs experience challenges which are more exacerbated by geographical and related disadvantages hence the need for redress.
He cited such disadvantages as lack of territorial access to the sea, isolation and remoteness from world markets and high-risk transit and transport costs.
“All these impose constraints on our trade competitiveness and overall socio-economic development and inhibit our full participation in global production networks and supply chains.
“As you are aware, Malawi and many LDCs have large informal sectors, which play crucial roles in domestic resource mobilisation through remittances and small-scale economic production,” he said.
In April this year, President Chakwera in his capacity as LDCs Chair issued a statement which highlighted the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in terms of high-risk debt default, worsening trade competitiveness, supply chain disruptions and a constrained informal working sector.
The statement further appealed for enhanced international support towards LDCs.
President Chakwera has, therefore,acknowledged the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other development partners for debt moratorium granted to LDCs.
He has since asked for a debt cancellation saying it would help LDCs recover from effects of COVID-19.
“Considering the potential length and breadth of tis pandemic, we request and are hopeful for debt cancellation ultimately and an extension of the debt moratorium in the meantime. That will enable us as LDCsto recover from this devastating pandemic sustainably,” said Chakwera.
The Summit is being held under the theme “The future we want, the United Nations we need: Reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism – confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action”.