President Lazarus Chakwera Thursday reiterated his administration’s commitment to the creation of a conducive environment for private sector operations.
Chakwera was speaking when he presided over the Malawi Domestic Environment Forum held under the theme ‘Making Malawi a Resilient, Competitive and Productive Economy through Private Sector Investment’.
The Malawi leader said having a vibrant private sector could be key to unlocking the much-needed jobs for Malawians.
“With the right investors, we can increase the productive capacity of our industries. With the right investors, we can lift our people out of man-made poverty. With the right investors, we can create millions of jobs as income-generating opportunities for millions of households.
“With the right investors, we can transform the face of our cities. In my view, not only is this something we can do but something we must. This is why government is determined to create an enabling and competitive business environment for the private sector to thrive,” Chakwera said.
He observed that an enabling business environment is one in which there is a functional legal and regulatory framework, in addition to having public institutions that are efficient and effective in executing their duties.
“The goal of attracting investments is to create employment opportunities for Malawians, which is essential to the creation of a middle-income economy. Presently, our private-sector space is dominated by small and medium enterprises,” Chakwera said.
As of 2019, Malawi was estimated to have over 1.6 million micro, small and medium enterprises employing more than 1.8 million people.
According to Chakwera, Malawi has many transformational projects which are documented in the Malawi Compendium of Investment Projects that require collaborative efforts and financing.
Among the projects are the Kholombidzo and Lower Fufu Hydroelectric plants, Chiweta geothermal plant, manufacturing of solar heaters, shoe and leather products, fertilizer and corn starch, construction of roads, Lake Malawi cage farming and construction of hotels.
Trade Minister Sosten Gwengwe said there were countless advantages of investing in Malawi.
He cited political stability, adding that the government’s pro-business orientation was another plus.
Gwengwe added that the country was a long-established member of both the Southern African Development Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and, recently, African Continental Free Trade Area, which is a strategic framework for delivering on Africa’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development.
Malawi Investment and Trade Centre Chairperson Karl Chokhotho said the objective of the forum was to generate investor and trade leads and provide leads on access to finance.