President Peter Mutharika has commended an Egyptian Eastern Tobacco Company for its interest to invest in the country after the firm on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with Malawi government to venture into cigarette manufacturing in the country.
Mutharika gave the nod to the deal when he met owners of the company at State House in Lilongwe and said tobacco is one of the nation’s largest sources of income as it contributes about 70 percent of the country’s economy.
However, Mutharika said apart from exporting unfinished tobacco, the crop could bring in more Forex if add value processes were done right in Malawi.
The President said it would be profitable to produce cigarettes in Malawi as that could boost the tobacco industry.
“Malawi is the largest producer of tobacco, however for years there have been little improvements in terms of value addition. Today I am pleased to sign the memorandum of understanding between the Malawi Government and the Eastern Tobacco Company of Egypt which will be involved in cigarette making.
“These cigarettes will be sold either within or outside the country and this will make the country gain more foreign currency,” explained President Mutharika.
He then assured the investors of their safety, saying Government would provide the necessary security to their investments.
“The two things that investors get worried about are fiscal and investment security, but as Malawi Government we will make sure that we provide maximum security,” the President said.
Eastern Tobacco Company Chairperson, Nabila Mohsen hailed Mutharika for allowing them to invest in Malawi.
He said Eastern Tobacco Company is primarily engaged in the manufacture and trade of tobacco products and accessories, agricultural marketing and expert trading as well as real estate services.
With the decline of tobacco farms in the West, interest in Malawi’s low-grade, high-nicotine tobacco has increased. Today, Malawian tobacco is found in blends of nearly every cigarette smoked in industrialized nations including the popular and ubiquitous Camel and Marlboro brands.
Eastern Tobacco Company is expected to have a ground breaking ceremony marking the commencement of the company in the country Friday at Kanengo industrial area in Lilongwe.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :