“Malawi the warm heart of Africa looks forward to your investments.” This is the message High Commissioner Designate to South Africa, Stella Ndau made on Friday in her presentation to potential investors and fellow Ambassadors resident in South Africa at an Ambassador’s and CEO’s Networking Luncheon hosted by the Africa Exchange in association with the Trade Fairs Department of the SA German Chamber of Commerce.
The event was sponsored by KPMG and Intertek and it took place at the KPMG Auditorium, Johannesburg.
She commenced her presentation by sharing with the audience the basic information about Malawi as well as the economic outlook as well as key developmental strategies the Malawi government has put in place like Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDSII), the National Export Strategy (NES) as well as the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) as one way of providing the country with a coherent national framework for investment.
“Our government launched the Economic Recovery Plan as an economic road map intended to stabilize the economy which had not performed so well past years prior to the launch of the programme. The plan aims at addressing economic challenges that came about due to reduced disposable income due to low tobacco prices among other issues. The country also faced scarcity of foreign exchange and rampant supply of fuel,” she said.
“Our government has put in place monetary and fiscal policies to stabilise the economy,” she said, adding “In this regard, the Economic Recovery Plan identified five priority sectors, namely, agriculture, tourism, mining, energy, and infrastructure development including information and communication technology.”.
The High Commissioner then advised the gathering of the trade opportunities that exist in Malawi as in ground nuts, sugar, maize, tobacco, tea, pulses, coffee, macademia nuts, curious, handicrafts, gemstones, timber and cut flowers among several others.
Having outlined these trade opportunities, Ndau then went on to share with the investors why it is proper for them to invest in Malawi.
The High Commissioner told the investors that Malawi presents great investment opportunity because firstly, it has friendly and welcoming people hence the warm heart of Africa.
She went on to mention that Malawi presents great investment opportunity as it has a very stable political environment and has not faced any civil war since independence and therefore a safe haven for any potential investor.
“Malawi has not faced any civil war since independence in 1964 and has therefore one of the rare stable political environments in this part of Africa and beyond,” she said.
The High Commissioner also informed the investors and diplomats that Malawi is a liberalized and friendly economy with preferential market access to regional and international markets under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act of the United States of America (AGOA).
“Malawi also enjoys a number of bilateral agreements that support trade and investment in Malawi. You would not go wrong by investing in Malawi. You would not only target the local Malawi market but also the regional and international markets. Take for instance the SADC market only. We are talking of over 230 million people. Besides, Malawi also has preferential markets in Japan, China, Canada and India,” she said .
Ndau also noted that Malawi presents competitive incentives for manufactures and exporters and is promoting implementation of public private partnerships, and has created a one -stop -shop for investors.
“Our government is committed to turning Malawi around from being an aid dependent to being a vibrant trading and investment nation,” she said.
She then went on to elaborate investment opportunities as available in a number of sectors like agro-processing and agriculture; fruits and vegetables; tea and sugar production; cassava production; fisheries/aquaculture; tourism development; mining; and energy development across the country.
The High Commissioner commended the Africa Exchange for extending an invitation to the Malawi High Commission in Pretoria and all sponsors who helped to make the Business Forum possible.
At the forum, the Malawi delegation included staff from the Consulate in Johannesburg as well as from the High Commission in Pretoria. Malawian business people based in South Africa also formed part of the Malawi team.
Apart from speaking to the investors, Malawi also mounted displays for a number of its products manufactured in Malawi and had time to speak to potential investors some of whom did not hesitate to ask for Malawi’s tea and coffee.
A similar event specific for Malawi will be hosted on 6 September 2013.