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Peter Mutharika defends direct investment drive pace

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President Peter Mutharika Tuesday defended the seemingly slow pace at which direct investment programme in the country is taking shape.

Speaking during the opening of the 28th International Trade Fair in Blantyre, Mutharika said Malawi is undergoing a silent economic paradigm shift as she is moving from aid to trade.

“We have set the ground for direct investment in various sectors. Some of you say: we cannot see much of what is happening. Yes, we are changing a lot of laws and policies to create a befitting legislative environment. This legislative reframing is time consuming but we are pleased with the progress. We could not do in two years what we could in fifty years. But we are making historical progress.

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“Because we want to set the right foundations and change Malawi forever, we have gone back to the basics. We want to address the fundamentals of economic growth which we overlooked for the last 50 years,” Mutharika said.

The President, who said his government is thinking business, gave an example of what the government is doing for problematic energy sector where Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi is undergoing a split but legislative framework needs to be reviewed through the tabling of Electricity Bill.

He said if people look at Malawi as they have known her, they will miss the business train urging people to look at the wheels that the government has set in motion and listen to what is being done to see where the country is going.

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“I dream of a Malawi that has never been before. Why not? But we need to be innovative. The principle of survival in business, and in life, is simple. Innovation is the insurance for survival in a competitive business world. In life, either you adapt, or you perish. Be innovative or perish?

“As Malawi, we have agreed to be innovative and adapt to the times of this century. We know that we cannot achieve new results by doing the same things the same old way,” he said.

Mutharika then said the government is establishing the National Planning Commission to generate sustainable and productive economic policies that are not confined to short terms of political governments.

“In order to illustrate our highest political will, I have established a ministerial committee on doing business. We are thinking business,” Mutharika said.

President for Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) Karl Chokotho asked the government to ensure unwavering support to the manufacturing sector which is capable of supporting all other sectors.

“Once the manufacturing sector is in motion, everything moves smoothly. This sector has the potential to support the transport sector through the provision of movement services and agriculture sector through the provision of market for both material and produce,” Chokotho said.

The fair under theme achieving ‘Competitiveness through Innovation’ runs up to May 29 and has attracted 170 exhibitors of which 14 are foreign.

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