Trade im­bal­ance wor­ries govt

Sunday Express - - NEWS - Tokelo Rasephei

The Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try, Tefo Mape­sela, has ex­pressed con­cern at the fail­ure of lo­cal busi­nesses to ex­ploit the sev­eral bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral trade agree­ments to com­pete favourably on the world mar­ket and grow their busi­nesses.

Mr Mape­sela said it was equally wor­ry­ing that while there were so many busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties that lo­cal en­trepreneurs could tap into, the lo­cal in­dus­try was largely de­pen­dent on the cloth­ing and tex­tiles sec­tor.

He said this while of­fi­ci­at­ing at the re­cent 2018 Lesotho Qual­ity Awards cer­e­mony that was held in Maseru to hon­our in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions that had con­trib­uted to the im­prove­ment of and pro­duc­tion of qual­ity prod­ucts in all sec­tors of the econ­omy.

“It is wor­ry­ing that Ba­sotho are re­luc­tant to take full ad­van­tage of the sev­eral mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties that are cre­ated and ne­go­ti­ated through the lead­er­ship of the Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try,” Mr Mape­sela said, adding, “there are sev­eral bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral trade agree­ments that need to be ex­ploited by our busi­ness com­mu­nity”.

he said while there were at least 6000 prod­uct lines that Ba­sotho could tap into apart from the tex­tile and cloth­ing sec­tor, “It was even more wor­ry­ing to see that our for­mal mar­ket is pre­dom­i­nantly dom­i­nated by im­ported prod­ucts”.

he said while growth was im­por­tant, lo­cal busi­nesses should how­ever, strive to at­tain the high­est stan­dards of qual­ity to achieve con­sumer sat­is­fac­tion and con­fi­dently com­pete on the lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets which had be­come highly glob­alised.

“The gov­ern­ment through var­i­ous projects is as­sist­ing and en­tic­ing Ba­sotho to pro­duce more trad­able prod­ucts with lev­els of qual­ity that would out-com­pete their ri­vals in the lo­cal mar­kets.

“Lesotho Qual­ity Award pri­mar­ily in­vokes and gen­er­ates aware­ness of the im­por­tance of qual­ity and stan­dards.

The award is also given to recog­nise the achieve­ments of those or­gan­i­sa­tions that have im­proved the qual­ity of their prod­ucts and ser­vices thereby set­ting ex­am­ples for oth­ers to em­u­late,” Mr Mape­sela said.

he said that in many coun­tries, the awards were given by the high­est of­fices and they would ask the Prime Min­is­ter to be the pa­tron of the awards.

he fur­ther urged other gov­ern­ment min­istries to work with his min­istry to as­sist busi­ness to meet the min­i­mum stan­dards of qual­ity and mar­ket re­quire­ments.

For his part the Di­rec­tor of Stan­dards, Mole­batsi Rabolinyane, said that six com­pa­nies con­tested and only Botho Univer­sity won in the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) qual­ity con­test.

The univer­sity scooped the Ser­vice of the Year award in the Small and Medium busi­nesses cat­e­gory.

Other or­gan­i­sa­tions that par­tic­i­pated in the 2018 Lesotho Qual­ity Awards are LSP Con­struc­tion, Civil en­gi­neer­ing Lab­o­ra­tory, Rem­moho Com­pli­ance So­lu­tions, TJ Mokaloba and Alosang en­ter­prise.

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