Proper diversification of the predominantly agro-based economy is going to make Malawi a vibrant and strategic economy in view of regional, continental and global trade, says President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika in his speech at the Chatham House think-tank in London on Monday.
Pitted as one of Africa’s most educated leaders, Mutharika addressed Chatham House, a respected global think-tank in a presentation titled “Malawi’s Priorities and Partnerships: Diversification For Development”
The President , who is on an official tour to UK, noted that for many decades Malawi’s economic priorities have weighed heavily towards agriculture just as a subsistence endeavor, a situation that has seen minimal growth of real income among farmers themselves.
“As a new government, we are now moving on a path for economic diversification away from the commodity based economy, in order to increase the export base. We strongly believe that trade and investment are key drivers for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development,” noted President Mutharika.
The Malawi leader said his government is doing all it can to reverse the economic anomalies so as to punch the right peg in the right hole.
“My government is pro-actively addressing market failures by among other things prioritizing; energy, tourism and infrastructure development, through the public private partnerships, including government own financing,” he said.
The Public Private Partnerships (PPP) arrangement has been one of President Mutharika’s priority areas in view of his commitment to foreign direct investment. As a result of the said commitment, President Mutharika instituted the Malawi Investment Trade Centre (MITC) which within two years of existence convened the first Malawi Investment Forum, a gathering that brought together more than 300 investors from across the world.
The President repeatedly called upon global investors, leaders and thinkers to consider Malawi as a hub of development for her many positive attributes.
“Malawi has a stable social, political and economic environment; liberal trade policies; and strategic geographical proximity with SADC countries.Despite being a land-locked country, Malawi’s strategic positioning in the region centres on provision of opportunities for development partnerships with other countries in the region,” said President Mutharika.
The Malawi leader prominently identified Malawi as a “ land-linked country” in view of many opportunities especially in areas like agriculture where 85 percent of the economy’s exports come from.
Sustaining Malawi’s economic growth, which resurged largely due to development in the agricultural sector, will require a diversification of the country’s international relations.
Since his election in May 2014, Mutharika has sought to rebuild trust in public institutions and to improve relations with traditional donors. Malawi is also reaching out to emerging partners, with India and China presenting potential sources of investment.
Chatham House also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs was founded in 1920 and continues to engage governments, the private sector, civil society in analysing and brainstorming on world affairs.
Chairperson of the event Lord Jack Mc Connel, Scottish First Minister urged Chatam House members to support Malawi’s prime mission so as to build a sustainable, secure and prosperous nation.
He was delighted that Mutharika availed himself to discuss his government’s strategy for growth and development, priorities for institutional reform and his approach to working with international partners.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :