Malawi will from the next tobacco farming season have a new tobacco processing factory following a meeting which the country`s first citizen President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika held on Thursday in Egypt.
Professor Mutharika attended the heads of state meeting in the North African country, where the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) launched the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area that will see countries including Malawi exporting their products to over 25 countries within the region.
Following this, President Mutharika had an audience with Mr Yehia, and Ahmed Moneim Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of New Valley Tobacco Manufacturing Company respectively where they committed to support the establishment of a local government tobacco processing factory in Lilongwe co-run by Egypt's Tobacco Company and Malawi Leaf Company.
The Industry and Trade ministers from the two countries are expected to meet and sign a memorandum of understanding leading to the process of setting up the tobacco processing factory by next tobacco season.
The deal is also expected to see Malawi having another local cigarette manufacturing factory funded by New Valley Company which is expected to create job opportunities.
According to Egypt's Ambassador to Malawi His Excellency Maher El-Adawy, Egypt's bilateral relationship with Malawi has been impressive to the good of people of the two countries.
The meeting which was graced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr George Chaponda, Joseph Mwanamveka, the Ministry of Industry and trade, Presidential chief economic advisor Dr Collins Magalasi and Ambassador El-Adawy took place at the Maritim Jolie Ville Royal Peninsula Hotel in Egypt.
Malawi has been the leader in tobacco production in the southern Africa dating back to 1890s and the industry is still the cornerstone of the country`s economy.