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Peter Mutharika counts opportunities at UK-Africa Investment Summit

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By Patricia Kapulula, In London, Uk:

President Peter Mutharika has described the recent scramble for Africa by larger economies as an opportunity to secure investment deals and move from aid to trade.

Mutharika made the remarks during a public lecture at the School of Oriental African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London Tuesday.

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He said each year more wealth leaves Africa than the aid and loans it receives hence the need for investment partnerships to compensate for the same.

“Western trade has for years carried a history of exploitation. While Africa receives about $162 billion every year, about $250 billion leaves the continent to Europe.

“Africa is losing $41 billion every year, hence the need to move Africa from poverty to prosperity,” Mutharika said.

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He added: “Industrialisation will ensure that we are capable of producing goods. We cannot participate in trade if we cannot produce goods. Malawi must industrialise to create jobs and goods for export.”

British High Commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett described sentiments by Mutharika as an ambition that UK shares with Malawi.

“Getting investment into the country is one of the elements and that is why we invited Malawi to the UK-Africa Investment Summit so that we could try to encourage British investors to come to Malawi, spend money and create jobs,” Tett said.

She added economic reforms are among fundamentals that can help Malawi transition from aid to trade and make the business environment friendlier for investors.

Countries such as China, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom are putting together conferences and summits to have discussions with African leaders in terms of investment opportunities.—Mana

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