Malawi is an African destination that can benefit investors to have quick returns and contribute to wealth creation, President Peter Mutharika has told United Kingdom business gurus.
President Mutharika was speaking at the UK-Malawi Investment Forum organized by the Malawi High Commission in the UK and the Invest Africa which was funded by firm Hogan and Lovells Africa. The forum was attended by over 50 businesses from the UK, Europe, Dubai and Malawi.
The President, who was in jovial mood, chaired a question and answer session which he challenged officials from state agencies to give answers on various topics including energy, incentives for investors and improving business climate.
“Malawi is a country where you can come to create wealth,” he said, adding “this story also reminds us that money is there to be created. The challenge is that most people do not know the art of creating wealth.
“My job in leading this Government is to create conditions that enable the private sector to grow and create new wealth. Our policy is to create a bigger private sector and remain with a smaller public sector,” said Mutharika.
He said his administration is undertaking belligerent measures to create growth of the private sector by doing a number of things including improving the economy, launch of foreign direct investment program, public sector reforms which had led to Malawi improve on the World Bank index of doing business and infrastructure development including expanding energy access and roads network.
“Our goal is to reduce cost of production. We are upgrading local Malawians to be able to commercialise and also create a skilled labour through community technical colleges,” said Mutharika.
During the question time, Mutharika tasked Dr. Collins Magalasi, Chief Executive Officer of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority to explain the energy sectors plans, opportunities and incentives for the prospective investors.
“The target is to expand access to electricity from the current 11% to 50%. This represents a huge investment opportunity for all types of energy such as hydro, gas, solar, wind or even coal. We regulate all players and an investor can operate as long as they have an agreement with ESCOM. The tariffs are negotiable ranging from 9 cents to 15 cents,” said Magalasi.
On incentives, the MERA CEO told the investors that government does not charge duty on energy related equipment and individual incentives could be negotiated to suit all businesses.
Mutharika then turned the heat on Malawi Investment and Trade Centre CEO Clement Kumbemba asking him when will Malawi improve on business index, incentives and opportunities for businesses.
Kumbemba said Malawi had at one time moved over 30 steps up the index and the current environment had greatly improved the chances of being among the top 100 ladder for the first time this year.
He said opportunities exists in Tourism sector, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing including pharmaceuticals.
Business leaders from Malawi present during the meeting included Press Corporations boss George Patridge, Mr Jakhura of Nyama World, Roseberry Farms, King Tins, Galaxy Pharmaceuticals, Mkango Resources, Cape Maclear Enonomic Zone Project and many others who later on went into business to business meetings with the UK investors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :