STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY PROFESSOR ARTHUR PETER MUTHRIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
DURING BRICS OUTREACH DIALOGUE
27TH JULY, 2018
I should begin by expressing our appreciation that Malawi has been invited to participate at this Summit.
Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to South Africa for their warm hospitality. The place of South Africa in the BRICS has given Africa the confidence that we are equal partners with the rest of the world.
In our modern geopolitics, transactions of the human race can only best function when we work in blocks and common fronts. This is the case because the global human community has become closely bonded and interdependent with modern technologies.
The human society has come to a point when we function better by cooperating more than competing. We cannot take away competition from human nature. But competition within cooperation is as possible as our unity in diversity.
We need economic blocks such as BRICS because economies work better as integrated systems. Humans are interdependent by nature. And in any system, every component is important.
We must celebrate the participation of small countries such as Malawi. We all can contribute because we all have something to offer.
Africa must celebrate the rise of BRICS as an economic community that promotes South-South and North-South relationships. We must also commend the promotion of dialogue in this community because dialogue is the tie that binds us.
Our countries are at varying levels of development. We need to be constantly engaged in a constructive dialogue in order to maintain common understanding on the challenges and opportunities before us.
As a global community, we have agreed on a new path for development. We agreed to fight poverty. We agreed to fight food and nutrition security. We agreed to create descent jobs. And we agreed to leave no one behind in our development agenda.
And I believe we can only achieve this common pledge of humankind if we set the right economic and political governance structures that work for everyone. We need genuine reforms of the international financial architecture.
For once in the history of humanity, let us genuinely support weaker economies to be stronger. We all need strong partners and allies in our economic transactions.
A good number of the economies that have grown to be giants of the world had to depend on capital from somewhere. The most urgent need is for us to invest in the infrastructure of the developing economies.
For a long time, we have been investing in consumption and services more than investing in production and infrastructure. This paradigm needs to change. We need to finance infrastructure and energy as some of the prerequisites to development.
This is the reason why we must commend BRICS for establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) with a clear focus on infrastructure development. We hope this bank will support Malawi’s investment program.
Malawi is open to investment. We are ready to do business with the rest of the world.
As a country, we are pursuing serious economic management in order to improve the economy and create a productive investment environment.
Four years ago, Malawi was a broken economy falling apart. The economy was collapsing. We were almost bankrupt because we had a deficit that almost equaled our annual national budget.
Inflation rose to as high as 42 percent. In three years, we brought inflation down to the single digit. Today, inflation is at 8.6 percent. Interest rates were 25 per cent. Today, it is at 16 percent.
Our foreign currency import cover was below 2 months – the lowest in Malawi’s history. Today, our foreign currency import cover is at 6 months – the highest in our history. And we now have a stable local currency.
Above all, we have taken our GDP economic growth from 2 percent to as far as 6 percent.
But this is our story. We have achieved this economic recovery without donor budget support. Therefore, we can manage and improve our economy. What we need are investments and financing infrastructure.
I thank you for your attention.
Dr Bright Molande
Executive Assistant to the President & Director of Communication