The first financiers’ forum to be held on Malawi soil has seen various business operators sealing investment deals with both local and international funders and the move is likely to boost the country’s investment drive.
The meeting, which took place in Blantyre Tuesday, attracted participation of over 300 delegates drawn from various sectors of the economy, including business captains as well as representatives from the local commercial banks.
Other international financiers who attended the event included representatives from the African Development Bank (AfDB), PTA Bank and OPIC who have since expressed interest to fund projects in such sectors as energy, agriculture, irrigation and water development as well as infrastructure development, among others.
Giving his key note address on the day, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tour i sm, Joseph Mwanamvekha, said the meeting was a clear indication that resources are available for businesses that innovate and create products that have a demand in the global marketplace.
“We live in an increasingly integrated global market such that projects that are not bankable and innovative in nature cannot attract financing,” warned Mwanamvekha.
But US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, urged authorities to look into other fundamentals such as high interest rates and inflation which she said compromise business growth in Malawi.
“These pose as a constraint on investment and exports from Malawi,” said Palmer.
She then called on government to continue with effort to cut down on spending appetite to bring down some of the indicators impacting on economic growth.