I am very delighted this afternoon to be part of this historic occasion and preside over the official celebration marking 50 years of Toyota Malawi Limited presence and doing business in Malawi under the theme “Celebrating 50 years of Partnership in Malawi”.

Firstly, I would like to give a special welcome to Malawi, to the Senior Representatives of Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Africa.

Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate shareholders, management and staff of Toyota Malawi for seeing it important to celebrate the golden jubilee of the company operations in Malawi with your customers. I am glad that your 50th anniversary also coincides with Malawi’s 50 years of independence which was earlier celebrated in grand style on our independence day on 6th July. This coincidence demonstrates that that the history of the Malawi nation and Toyota Malawi cannot be separated. Therefore, I find the theme of this celebration very befitting.

In a special way, I would like to thank Toyota Malawi for the donation of the Toyota Land Cruiser ambulance donated to the Ministry of Health towards Safe Motherhood Initiative. I am informed that this ambulance is purpose-built fitted with world class emergency paramedic devices and supplies made in Japan. The ambulance donation will go a long way in alleviating challenges faced in the healthcare delivery of this country. Let me urge the beneficiary ministry to make sure that the ambulance is well taken care of and used for the intended purpose.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Toyota Malawi contributions to the socio-economic development of the country are much appreciated. Toyota Malawi has contributed to the economic development of the country in many ways. Apart from the various vehicle models and value adding services provided by Toyota Malawi, the company has demonstrated to be a good corporate citizen by contributing to the social challenges Malawi faces in form of corporate social responsibility. Your generous contributions, especially to the health sector, has helped in saving lives of many Malawians. It is my sincere hope that Toyota Malawi will continue to be a partner in alleviating Malawi’s health challenges.

The transport sector is very important for the development of any economy and Malawi is no exception. My Government holds in esteem the contribution of the transport sector to the economy. It is against this background that transport sector is one of the four priority sectors together with agriculture, energy and manufacturing that my Government believes can quickly spur rapid economic growth. As a demonstration of commitment to the transport sector, my Government has removed import duty, import excise and VAT on all minibuses that are zero to five years.

Distinguished guests,
My Government is very thankful to the support and contributions of the people and Government of Japan, towards the development of the transport infrastructure in Malawi. The Japanese Government funded the design and construction of the dual carriage Masauko Chipembere Highway in Blantyre. I am further delighted that the Japanese Government has committed to fund and construct the remaining part of the Masauko Chipembere Highway that passes through Limbe township, within the 2014/15 fiscal year.

Over the past 50 years, Toyota Malawi has contributed in many ways to the development of Malawi’s transport sector by providing safe, quality and reliable vehicle models suitable to our transport infrastructure. I am sure that Toyota Malawi will continue in providing innovative mobility products and services to the Malawi nation to help in efficient service delivery for both government and private sector operations.

Madam Chairperson, ladies and gentlemen
My government is committed to supporting Toyota Malawi and all foreign investors in the country as their investments go a long way in contributing to the economic development of the nation in form of taxes, job creation and foreign exchange generation. I am pleased to be informed that Toyota Malawi has already embarked on projects that will transform the company from a net importer to an exporter of local agricultural products. These efforts will definitely contribute towards the generation of the much needed foreign exchange for Malawi and offset the import forex requirement of Toyota Malawi. Therefore, let me call upon the shareholders of Toyota Malawi to intensify their efforts of diversifying the company to a more export orientation in order to contribute to my Government efforts in transforming Malawi from a net importing nation to a net producing and exporting nation.

Finally, let me wish Toyota Malawi and its customers every success as you celebrate this milestone and venture into the next 50 years of doing business in Malawi.

I thank you all for your attention. May God bless you all and God bless Malawi.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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