JB commissions Mapeto Cotton Ginnery, vows to reform Malawi business landscape

President Joyce Banda has vowed to do everything in her power to create a conducive environment for doing business in Malawi, and has, therefore, challenged the private sector to take advantage of the outcomes of the tough decisions she is taking.

Commissioning the Mapeto Cotton Ginnery Mill in Salima on Tuesday, President Banda re-affirmed her political will, resolve and leadership to champion reforms at all levels of government to make sure that the benefits of the good business environment are passed on to the people.

“Government places greater value on the partnership with the private sector. This is because the more successful the private sector is, the more value is created in the economy.

“This can be reflected in higher government tax revenue, more employment opportunities and increased incomes that have impact on eradicating poverty,” President Banda explained.

President Banda turns on one of the machines in the factory

President Banda turns on one of the machines in the factory

“After touring the factory, I am convinced with the impact this operation will have on creating job opportunities for many Malawians. This is why my government greatly treasures this smart partnership and I am committed to do whatever it takes to promote a conducive environment to ensure that such partnerships are a win-win relationship,” she added.

Government is implementing a number of policies and strategies that are aimed at improving the general livelihood of the people, especially in the villages, she said.

“The Mudzi Transformation Trust is a case in point,” said the President, adding that there are currently 15 model villages that are currently being “transformed” and that she hopes this will be done in all the villages in the country.

She said villagers must have clean water to drink, decent housing and access to quality medical attention and education, among others, and that this is the main objective of the Mudzi Transformation Trust.

She also said to ensure food self-sufficiency at village, household and national level, the fertilizer subsidy programme would continue and that a new fertilizer loan scheme for those that cannot access cheap fertilizer coupons would also be introduced.

In respect of cottoning farming in Malawi, President Banda said her administration has improved the environment in the industry as one of the strategies of broadening the country’s export base.

“The launching of this cotton ginnery here in Salima is very timely as it is taking off at time these reforms are being implemented,” she said.

Industry and Trade Minister, Sosten Gwengwe said Government is implementing concrete and pragmatic interventions in order to create and sustain a pro-business environment, the thrust of which is to make it cheaper, easier and faster to do business in Malawi.

He observed that the economic reforms introduced by President Banda had borne positive fruits and revitalized the business environment in Malawi.

He noted that with such state of affairs, where forex is available to enable firms to import raw materials and that there is now fuel and reliable energy unlike during the DPP regime, the Malawi economy is indeed bound to grow by over five percent this year.

Government recently passed the Cotton Bill to provide a regulatory framework in the cotton industry and facilitate the participation of the private sector in the production and processing of cotton.

During the 2012/2013 financial year government supported farmers with extension services and distributed 38,918 metric tonnes of certified cotton seed under the Cotton Up-Scaling Programme.

According to Mapeto General Manager, Martin Mpata, the Mapeto Cotton Ginnery Mill in Salima will employ 30 permanent staff and more than 100 during on-season.

The President also toured the China-Africa Cotton Company Malawi Limited in the same locality.

President Banda makes way into the factory accompanied by Industry and Trade Minister Gwengwe

President Banda makes way into the factory accompanied by Industry and Trade Minister Gwengwe

President Banda meets a Flower Girl when she arrived at the Ginnery Factory in Salima

President Banda meets a Flower Girl when she arrived at the Ginnery Factory in Salima

The First Couple enjoying the proceedings in Salima

The First Couple enjoying the proceedings in Salima

President Banda greets Faizal Mapeto who is Chairman and CEO of Mapeto David WhiteHead and the Ginnery Factory in Salima

President Banda greets Faizal Mapeto who is Chairman and CEO of Mapeto David WhiteHead and the Ginnery Factory in Salima

JB addressing the masses at Salima

JB addressing the masses at Salima

Part of the crowd at the rally

Part of the crowd at the rally

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