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UK trip an eye opener—Ibam

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The Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam) has described the Global Africa forum which was held in London, United Kingdom a few weeks ago as an eye opener.

The forum attracted African leaders including Malawi President Peter Mutharika and business magnets within Europe.

Local business persons from various sectors attended the forum on invitation by the Malawi Investment Trade Centre (MITC).

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Ibam president Mike Mlombwa said the forum gave an opportunity to the local entrepreneurs to interact with financiers and potential investors.

He said as business persons, they learnt a lot that if implemented locally, it will help turn around the economy.

“The trip was an eye opener. We had opportunities to interact with influential people in business circles globally. There is a lot that as a country we need to do in order to improve our situation,” said Mlombwa.

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He said one thing that was common among the other countries was that their interest rates were too low as compared to Malawi.

Mlombwa also said in other countries, banks do have a cut-off point in terms of loan re-payments.

“From the discussions we had, we noted that there is a cutoff point when one is re-paying their loans at the bank. This is different from the Malawi situation where borrowers are forced to pay three or four times what they borrowed,” said Mlombwa.

He further said the Reserve Bank of Malawi should look into the area and make sure that commercial banks also offer such cut-off points.

“Businesses survive on loans, but with the high interest rates, not many are surviving on the market. It is important that RBM in conjunction with commercial banks should implement the cut-off point policy,” he said.

Mlombwa also said that Malawi should implement policies that are in tandem with the local economy.

He said donors detect some of our policies which are not favourable to our economy.

“It is high time that we implemented policies that favour our economy. Let us stop dancing to the tunes of the World Bank and IMF. We do not need foreigners to tell us how to manage our economy,” said Mlombwa.

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