The Indigenous Business Association of Malawi-IBAM has described the 2013 business environment as one of the worst.

It was referring to higher interest, exchange and inflation rates that have been experienced during the year.

For instance, the normal base lending rate for banks had reached 40%, when the local currency was fetching 450 kwacha to USD thereby upping the cost of living measurement –inflation rate, to 37.9%.

Speaking in an interview, IBAM’s president Mike Mlombwa said these plus the recent cash gate scam had some negative impacts on the local business operators.

“Honestly, in the year 2013, Indigenous businesses have suffered in the sense that their operating environment has continued to deteriorate.” Mlombwa was quoted as saying.

According to mlombwa, the higher interests rates during the year meant little or no access of business financing to small scale businesses there by further punish those who had already got the loan facilities with interests.

Mlombwa also observed that the looting at capital hill that was revealed in September, and resulted in the donors holding their funding on budgetary support.

Mlombwa said, “You have heard of cash gate, this has affected the rate of doing business for indigenous business operators.

“What am saying is that all of the names appearing in the cash gate are all the locals and this has dented the image of the locals other than the foreigners.” Said Mlombwa.

Mlombwa has however observed that the current administration dedicated on initiatives meant to see the economy recovering.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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