The government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism on Monday closed down China de Restaurant, Lodge and Bar for failure to obtain an investment license.
The Lodge, situated in Limbe, has been operating in the country since 2009 and belongs to a Chinese national only identified as Jang.
However, Jang, through her chef, said she was not aware of the requirements and said she will pay and apply for a new licence.
A business licence fee before the amendment of the Act in 2015 was at K61,000 per year and has been revised to K105,000 per year following the amendment.
This means the Chinese investor is supposed to pay K471, 000 cumulative from 2009.
Ministry of Industry and Trade Principal Secretary, Cliff Chiunda, took a surprise visit to the premises, where among other things he noted that the investor had flouted some of the requirements.
“We are closing these premises because the operator is not meeting some of the requirements in the Business Licensing Act of 2012 and 2015,” said Chiunda.
He further said effective July 1, 2015; the government put into effect the new business licensing Act, which targets to flush out foreigners from doing retail trading.
Chiunda said the Act stipulates that foreign traders will have to pay $250,000 to start a business in the country.
“These people do have local city licences, which are meant for Malawian business operators. A foreign investor, before starting any business in the country, is supposed to show proof of investment to the sum of $250,000, before we issue them with an investment licence,”
Chiunda also said all foreigners, who intend to carry out their trading activities should seek approval from the ministry.
“What we have seen here, is that the Business Licensing Act is being flouted which is not supposed to be the case. We have seen very poor and below standards investment here. This is supposed to be a lodge but it is not, it is a dwelling house,” he said.
Chiunda further advised foreign investors to follow necessary procedures, when they want to invest in the country.
“We do welcome all our Chinese brothers and sisters interested to invest in Malawi, but, they have to do the right thing. The rules must be followed and requirements should not be jumped,” said Chiunda.