Malawi President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has assured British investors of a conducive environment in terms of geographical dividends, skilled human resource base, legal system and administrative environment once they choose Malawi as their investment destination.
During a meeting with British investors in London on Tuesday, President Mutharika unpacked the many advantages that Malawi has first as an individual investment destination and also as a regional and continental strategic economy.
He pointed out Malawi’s historic relations with the United Kingdom as a platform from which UK investors should base their trust and potential in the Malawi market. “Being a former British colony, the culture in government business and commerce is modelled on the British tradition. English is also the country’s official language and it is the language of instruction in the education system; and the legal system is based on English Common Law,” he said.
The President told the investors that Malawi, despite being a landlocked country is linked strategically to SADC, COMESA, East Africa Community (EAC) and Africa as a whole.
“ Africa is simply looked as a place of resource extraction, minerals, oils, gas and labour force. With its 800 million plus population and a US$1 trillion goods and services market, Africa is increasingly becoming a major centre of production and consumption. The continent is organizing itself into a single trading bloc with less barriers to trade and is also developing its basic infrastructure for transport and logistics, energy, water, telecommunications and others necessary for private sector investments. All these provide huge opportunities for investment,” said President Mutharika.
Narrowing down on Malawi market, the President highlighted the deliberate policies that his government has put in place to support the private sector and accommodate new investors in the economy.
He said government has streamlined the investment process so as to make it simpler, fast and effective.
“We have established the One Stop Service Centre at the Malawi Investment Trade Centre (MITC) which is now working on defined time lines for processing investor applications. The centre offers company registration services, immigration permits, fiscal incentives, and land services. MITC handles all investor requirements even for institutions that have not yet moved to the One Stop Service Centre, for example, the environmental impact assessment services, utility connections among others,” said President Mutharika adding that MITC is also mandated with the allocation of land for industrial parks to be established in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
He added “We have a legal and regulatory regime conducive to private sector development and we continue to improve on this through continuous reviewing and passing of relevant legislation through our Parliament” Among some of the existing investment opportunities in Malawi are in agriculture under the Greenbelt initiative (GBI), manufacturing, tourism plus eco-tourism, energy, infrastructure development, transportation, Banking and Finance, ICT and extractive industry.
The Malawi leader assured the investors of readily-available markets for their goods and services. “We are a growing and expanding market. In addition to increasing domestic demand for Malawi products, there is potential for Malawi to serve regional and global markets. Malawi enjoys preferential access to strategic markets to SADC and COMESA region spanning more than 20 African countries in east, south, north and central Africa. Malawi also duty and quota free market access to the European Union (EU) under the Everything But Arms (EBA) framework, enjoys tariff preference for exports to China, duty free access to India, and preferential trade benefits from the USA under AGOA,” he said.
The assurances were extended to crucial areas such as security and a highly skilled and/or trainable workforce.
The interface meeting – organized by United Kingdom’s Minister for Africa, Hon. James Duddridge and United High Commissioner to Malawi, Michael Nevin- was attended by business leaders and captains of the industry from both the United Kingdom and Malawi, officials from the UK and Malawi government among others.mana