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MCCCI, Ecama uncertain on Malawi economic future

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The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) and the Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) have said they are not sure about prospects of the Malawi economy as it is still premised on the various shocks and challenges faced in the year just ended.

MCCCI president Newton Kambala and Ecama executive director Edward Chilima said in separate interviews that the economic outlook for Malawi in 2016 looks looks gloomier than positive.

Kambala said the economy does not show any signs of recovery and that there will be need for radical decisions if the situation is to be reversed.

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He called on the government to focus on stabilising the economy by, among other things, minimising the level of public finance expenditure.

“Obvious ly, the bad side of this is that businesses will remain uncompetitive and eventually slow down the economic activities. All economic variables have signaled a failing economy with rising inflation, high interest rates, and fluctuating foreign exchange rates,” said Kambala.

He said the 2015/16 national budget failed to bring hope to the economy which has been characterised by fiscal slippages and that there is a need to instill confidence into the private sector to spar productivity and eventually improve revenue collection.

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On his part, Chilima said the economic performance for this year will be premised on the challenges the economy faced in 2015.

He said these and other challenges including dwindled buying power and food woes would eventually frustrate the economy this year.

“If nothing happens, the growth would be very low this year, way below projected figures. We don’t see any changes in the agriculture sector, we are still inefficient and we cannot see a very good crop this year,” said Chilima.

Chilima said public sector reforms being implemented could, however, be beneficial and strategic to the economy.

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