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Malawi government poised to tap into Commonwealth market

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Malawi is on the cusp of greater achievements in investment and business development as it taps into the vast Commonwealth market.

Minister of Trade and Industry Joseph Mwanamvekha said this on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting taking place in Malta.

Mwanamvekha was speaking after the official opening of the Business Forum, one of the sideline activities in this year’s Commonwealth meeting.

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He said the meeting offered Malawi a great platform to market its wide range of investment opportunities in energy and mining, tourism and agriculture, among other sectors.

“It is our belief that investors will respond to our efforts to ensure a thriving business environment and potential in Malawi,” he said.

In his address during the official opening of the forum, Commonwealth, Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma, urged member states to ensure sound judicial, education, agriculture and climate change systems as they push for increased investment.

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Sharma said these are supporting structures to investment and Commonwealth member states would do well in focusing on growing them also instead of just directing their interest in investment growth.

“Judicial, education and health systems are linked to business development. Climate change is also linked to business performance. Member states therefore have to ensure that these sectors are also strengthened as they are central to ensuring achievement of investment goals and sustaining them,” he said.

He also called on member states to establish trade financing facilities to assist budding exporters and importers who are keen on their businesses but are struggling for financing to grow their enterprises.

Lord Marland of Odstock, Chairman for the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council which organised the business forum said Malawi was also poised for significant contribution and gains in the Commonwealth because of its being a founding board member of the council.

“This means that Malawi will be playing a central role in business development in the Commonwealth and we are thrilled about that prospect,” Marland said.

The council says the Commonwealth offers a huge market square for Malawi and other member states.

The 53-member association is home to 2.2 billion people, 60 percent of them under the age 30.

As of 2013, it had a combined GDP of US$9.6 trillion and between 2013 and 2015, Commonwealth countries were expected to grow at a combined rate of 4.1 percent.

President Peter Mutharika is attending the meeting and is expected to deliver a statement during the three-day Business Forum, among other engagements.

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