Government has assured potential investors that despite challenges being faced by most developing countries due to regional and global economic shocks, the country remains a viable investment destination that promises good returns in numerous sectors.
Speaking at the opening of the Malawi Investment Forum 2016 in Lilongwe on Monday, Vice President Saulos Chilima pitched Malawi as an economy with potential for investors and highlighted what government is doing to create a more conducive environment.
“I would like to assure you, our existing and potential investors, that despite the challenges we are facing, Malawi is an attractive investment destination. We are addressing these challenges in totality; from5 monetary side such as exchange rate policy to fiscal side such as tax incentives, from regulatory side such as laws, policies and procedures to infrastructure such as water and electricity,” he said.
He added: “Government is aggressively reversing all negative economic trends. We are no longer approaching the development agenda in the business as usual fashion. New principles and structures are being put in place to do away with the older ways that have hitherto failed to deliver. We have implemented various reforms aimed at re-structuring processes and procedures as a way of further enabling the investment environment.”
Introduction of a One Stop Shop at Malawi Investment and Trade Center (MITC) has enabled the country to reduce the cost and number of days it takes to register a business in Malawi.As a result the country has in the past two years improved its ranking with 22 steps on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index.
Chilima also said government is working on the legal and policy framework to make it respond to the needs of investors and global standards. These include land related laws some of which will facilitate acquisition of land for investors both in agriculture and other sectors. To reduce cost of certification, government is also implementing a Standard, Quality, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM) project.
This is a state-of-the-art laboratory that will validate quality of exports much to the delight of the manufacturing and agro-processing sectors. This year’s forum has brought together around 1000 local and foreign investors.