Malawi Chambers of Commerce appeals for a better business environment

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has  appealed to government to provide the private sector with a better business environment.

MCCCI said a better business environment will enable private to produce more for exports and rescue Malawi from the foreign exchange unavailability.

But Industry and Trade Minister John Bande assured the industry that government is committed to seeing that the country’s forex problems come to an end.

Kaferapanjira: £fficiency

MCCCI chief executive officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira made the remarks Saturday  in Blantyre when he presented a paper on The Economic Challenges facing Malawi and How to Overcome Them: An Industry Perspective during Consultative Workshop on Economic Diversification and Forex Generation.

Kaferapanjira said the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey of 2009 established that 53.4 percent of firms in Malawi use foreign inputs but only 6.4 percent export, compared with 9.7 percent in sub-Saharan Africa and 10.4 percent in low-income countries.

He said this suggests that cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malawi is of market-seeking type – a remnant of import substitution policies of the 1960s and 70s.

“Thus, it has little impact on foreign exchange generation. Resource seeking FDI is slowly coming in especially in mining sector and may help in foreign exchange generation.

He said what generates foreign exchange is efficiency-seeking FDI and that it requires a better business environment.

“Government must, therefore, address the serious obstacles to doing business raised by existing businesses. There is need for reliable and efficient infrastructure facilities to reduce costs, and ensure timely supply of exports,” said Kaferapanjira.

He called on government to make access to export incentives clear and easy.

Bande said, “As government, we are committed to ensuring that we resolve all economic challenges which we encounter as a country that is why we engage the private sector time and again in forums like these”.

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