Industrial parks rollout this year
Minister of Trade and Industry Simplex Chithyola Banda has said construction at industrial park-designated sites in Matindi, Blantyre and Area 55, Lilongwe will start before the end of this year.
He said this in Blantyre Wednesday when he visited the Matindi site.
He was accompanied by officials from Afreximbank and Export Development Fund, among others.
Chithyola said the government has committed K4 billion in the current budget to go towards compensation.
“We are more than ready to commence this development and you have seen the seriousness from all stakeholders and I want to assure Malawians that, by the end of this year, ground breaking ceremonies will take place,” he said.
The industrial parks will be developed with financing from Afreximbank.
Afreximbank Director of Export Development Oluranti Deherty said, having finished feasibility studies, the bank is now ready to finance other developments until the industrial parks are developed.
She added that the other developments which the bank is willing to support are trade financing, debt financing, project financing, and project preparation facility.
“Malawians should know that development has come and the stage we are at now is that we are discussing with stakeholders, including our partners, and we will soon commence the development,” she said.
Speaking in an earlier interview, economist Betchani Tchereni said the parks are essential in enhancing manufacturing.
The government intends to create about 240,000 jobs through the Special Economic Zones.
The projects would attract $900 million (about K913.5 billion) worth of investment.
Pan-African multilateral trade finance institution, the Afreximbank recently announced to have set aside $6 million (about K6 billion) for the Special Economic Zones initiative.
The zones would propel creation of industries, job opportunities, increased export of Malawian manufactured goods, expansion of cities and making available land for houses to reduce slums and for businesses in view of Malawi 2063’s industrialisation agenda.
The government already earmarked 624 hectares across three regions to develop the special economic zones which will transform cities and provide jobs through value-addition of export oriented products and other products that can compete favourably with imports.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.