The economy of Malawi, like most sub-Saharan Africa economies, is based on agriculture. Not surprisingly, agricultural products make up more than 80% of Malawi’s exports. The country’s main export products include tobacco, tea, sugar, pulses, and cotton. The country also exports considerable quantities of coffee, macadamia nuts, groundnuts, and pigeon peas.
In order to facilitate trade, Malawi has entered into bilateral trade agreements with Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Zimbabwe, as well as customs agreement with Botswana. Under these agreements, most goods that are wholly obtained and manufactured, or substantially transformed in Malawi, can enter these respective countries duty-free.
Malawi is also a signatory to a number of regional trade agreements and multilateral agreements. These include the Cotonou agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries; the World Trade Organization (WTO); and the Tripartite Free Trade area between members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the East African Community (EAC).