Malawi President Peter Mutharika has said his administration remains committed to creating the most conducive investment environment in Malawi as private capital is key to the development agenda of the country.
“Since taking office in May, 2014, my government has embarked on several legislative and administrative reforms to make Malawi attractive to private capital,” said Mutharika at a meeting with Elizabeth Littlefield of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington DC.
The Malawi leader informed OPIC that his government in September, 2014 established the One Stop Service Centre at the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) thereby involving institutions that are key to the investment process such as the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Lands, Malawi Revenue Authority, Registrar of Companies for fast decision making.
“Senior officials at MITC were given a timeline of five (5) days to receive and process investor applications or permits as opposed to the 60 days it used to take, with the exception of business land which we are still working on presently,” said the president.
Mutharika recalled that during his first meeting with OPIC in August 2014 there was an expression of concern that MITC lacked teeth and capacity to deliver. In response he said among other efforts his government is implementing to strengthen MITC to ensure that investors are assisted most efficiently.
“Government, realizing that investment opportunities were scattered all over the Ministries and the private sector decided to produce a Malawi Projects Handbook, which has consolidated most investment, projects for easy accessibility by investors,” he added.
Mutharika also stated in a quest to ease access to business land, his administration has allocated pieces of land to MITC, in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu, to develop industrial parks and turn some into special economic zones.
He therefore emphasized that it was his desire to see OPIC play a more proactive role in Malawi as his government is committed to ensuring that any impediments to doing business in Malawi, by American companies, are addressed with speed.
“I have met with several American investors, during my recent visits and I know that all these companies qualify for investment financing from your organization, as such, I firmly believe they will not fail to invest in Malawi. During our last meeting, I learnt with envy the massive capital inflows that your company has invested in Africa where it was made clear that your investment in Malawi is almost negligible,” stated Mutharika.
On this note President Mutharika said he wants the situation to change with speed, hence the many reforms and initiatives his administration was implementing.
Mutharika also announced that his government will organize the first ever Malawi Investment Forum on 29th and 30th June, 2015 to showcase bankable investment projects in Malawi.
He then requested OPIC to be among the key speakers at the forum and further requested OPIC to assist Malawi in publicizing the event to American investors.
In her remarks President and Chief Executive Officer of Oversees Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Elizabeth Littlefield said she was excited with the developments and initiatives taking place in Malawi saying that her organization is convinced and ready to support investment in Malawi.
“Let me applaud President Mutharika for coming up with a compendium and making strides in as far as wooing investors is concerned. Our role as OPIC is to stimulate investment by providing loans and finance in areas of agro-processing, power sector, infrastructures, transport and tele-communication, and risk mitigating among others,” said Littlefield.
She said OPIC observed that Malawi has little investment which needs enhanced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to stimulate local investment as such OPIC as a demand driven agency will do everything possible to support potential investors in Malawi.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was established in 1969 and began operations in 1971 to promote and assist U.S. business investment in developing nations. OPIC is a U.S. government agency that provides project financing, investment insurance and other services for U.S. businesses in 154 developing nations and emerging economies.
The activities of OPIC are grouped into three categories which include finance, insurance, and investment development. OPIC’s finance program operates like an investment bank, customizing and structuring a complete package for each project. To obtain OPIC financing, the venture must be commercially and financially sound and be wholly owned by U.S.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :