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‘Covid-19 affects growth prospects’

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A recent survey by the Large-Scale L and – Based Investment (LSLBI) Platform reveals that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a heavy knock on economic growth prospects for the country this year, also affecting businesses.

The study was conducted in conjunction with the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), an umbrella body for the private sector in the country.

Findings of the study show that tourism and manufacturing sectors are among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

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It also points to a significant drop in level of imports and exports in recent months.

Speaking after unveiling the findings, MCCCI Head of Real Estate and Macroeconomic Policy Thokozani Njima said most businesses caught a cold of the pandemic.

“The survey findings will [therefore] help stakeholders’ approach in engagements with authorities such as the government and development partners in addressing large scale investment issues to ensure survival and continuity of peaceful yet profitable collaborations on land-based investments,” Njima said.

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The survey targeted businesses from all sectors of the economy and, according to Njima, emphasis was placed on large scale land-based investment.

Most participants were from the agriculture sector followed by manufacturing, accommodation and food services.

It was also observed that the agricultural sector might not have been affected heavily as, by the time the pandemic was at its peak, the production season was over.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning recently projected that the local economy could lose approximately K56 billion in real GDP which translates to approximately K244 billion in nominal gross domestic product if the coronavirus pandemic is contained by the second quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year.

In the National Economic Report released Sunday, the ministry says accommodation and food services, transport and storage services, and agriculture, forestry and fishing would be the worst hit sectors.

Real GDP growth projection for 2021 has also been revised downwards to 4.5 percent from an anticipated growth of 5.8 percent.

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