Industry prays for government support
The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), an umbrella body of private sector players, say industry needs a hand from the government if it is to remain afloat.
The chamber has since reiterated its call for the government to create opportunities if businesses are to flourish.
MCCCI Chief Executive Officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira said in an interview on Monday that handholding of such nature has helped other countries to develop.
Kaferapanjira said the government should consider carrying equity into risky ventures so that the private sector should follow in and, once it settles, the government could exit.
“That is why we have been calling for reintroduction of an institution like the MDC [Malawi Development Corporation] to help in such arrangements.
“The private sector has potential but needs handholding and a conducive environment,” he said.
Economists and commentators accuse the private sector of complaining over issues like foreign exchange scarcity.
During the National Development Conference in Lilongwe last week, economist and former finance minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba challenged private sector players to rise to the occasion and help the government in addressing economic bottlenecks Malawi has been facing lately.
“Developing Malawi should be a concerted effort but the private sector continues complaining that the government is not solving problems such as forex shortage but it should be the one to help the government by increasing production,” he said.
In a short WhatsApp response, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said the government has plans to help the private sector.
“We have a team looking into how we can bring about an MDC, and once ready, (NPC) National Planning Commission and the EPD [Economic Planning and Development] department will advise,” Gwengwe said.
Malawi remains a net-importer and mostly exports raw commodities.
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.