President Prof. Peter Mutharika on Monday appealed to companies and supermarkets in the country to prioritize Malawian products before importing from other countries.
Mutharika made this appeal during the opening of the gate way shopping complex in Lilongwe which is one of the largest shopping center in the country.
The President said experience has shown that most of the supermarkets of the country prefer stocking only foreign produced goods such as fresh fruits and vegetables on the notion that the locally produced goods are of low quality.
This, Mutharika described as unfortunate as it only affects distribution of social income and loss of foreign currency.
“I know there are a number of qualities, price and packaging challenges the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) face on the market but it would be idea to encourage the farmers to produce the necessary quality products required through deliberate mitigation measures,” explained Mutharika.
He wondered why supermarket owners should import tomatoes and fresh vegetables when the products could be easily found in Lilongwe, Ntcheu and Dedza.
“I would like to urge supermarkets in this mall to spare some shelf for locally produced goods including vegetables and potatoes from Small Medium Enterprises,” he directed.
Speaking about the complex, the President said it was one of the many types of the investment that will go a long way in improving the economic and social development of the country.
He said the development of the infrastructure will create over 600 jobs, reduce congestion in the city of Lilongwe and also add beauty to the face of the country.
“Lilongwe City will now boast of quality shopping mall befitting the name of the high international construction standards. This gives us all price as we endeavor developing this country,” explained Mutharika while commending Malawi Property Investment Company (MPICO) for the job well done.
The President then encouraged business captains to put serious thoughts and efforts on products innovations and diversification for the country to produce and export high quality products that could help in generating the much needed foreign currency.
Mutharika also reminded the investors to take advantage and invest in the bankable projects outlined in the compendium which he recently launched.
The new shopping mall has been constructed at a value of US$37million which is equivalent to MK19 billion.
Dye Mwawindo, Chairman of MPICO limited described the construction of the mall as a dream come true and a relief to the people of Malawi.
Mwawindo said ever since, MPICO was known for construction of office space for renting and that the Gateway shopping mall marks the company’s diversification aspirations.
“This is one of the most magnificent shopping mall in the SADC Region and we promise for more in the southern and northern region,” explained Mwawindo.
He said many Malawi stand a chance to find jobs through a number of services that will be offered at the mall thereby creating wealth required for the social economic transformation of the Malawi nation.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Joseph Mwanamveka said government will do anything possible to ensure that more investors come and invest in the country.
Mwanamveka said among the major projects that investors could look into include development of the airport in Lumbadzi, construction of a new airport in monkey bay, construction of dry port in Liwonde and rehabilitation of several railway lines.
The minister also mentioned the dredging of the shire Zambezi water way and bus terminals, the energy and environment sectors as other projects outlined in the compendium.
The new gateway mall covers an average are of about 17,000 meters with 1,500 car packing base and 56 renting rooms of which 44 are already occupied.
Plans are on the pipe line to also construct a hotel, medical suit and car wash within the mall.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :