17 June 2014

Malawi: Govt Gears for Doubling Export Base in Next Five Years

Blantyre — President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika says his government is determining to double export base in the next five years.

This according to president Mutharika would be achieved through the continued implementation of the National Export Strategy that provides a road map for developing Malawi's productive base to allow for both export competitiveness and economic empowerment.

The Malawi leader disclosed this on Tuesday during the official opening of the 45th session of parliament in new parliament building in the capital, Lilongwe.

Mutharika said his administration recognises the pivotal role the private sector plays in accelerating the country's economic growth.

"Private sectors act as an engine for economic growth and a source of direct revenue and employment.

"However, the business environment in Malawi has, in recent years deteriorated due to some macroeconomic, security and structural challenges.

"This has led to several economic problems such as low volume of foreign direct investments, low industrial output and unsustainable structural trade deficit, among several others," said Mutharika adding his government will strive to address these challenges by carrying out some regulatory and institutional reforms aimed at addressing constraints affecting enterprise development in the country.

According to president Mutharika his government plan to improve Malawi's standing on the Ease of Doing Business Index in order to make Malawi a better investment destination.

"In line to this, my administration will continue to implement the National Export Strategy which was launched in December, 2012, that will create a conducive environment for businesses so that the country can double its exports in years to come," said Mutharika.

Meanwhile, Indigenous Business association of Malawi (IBAM) president Mike Mlombwa has urged government to consider prioritising local business community at the expense of foreign investors in business opportunities in order to boost economic stand of the nation.

Mlombwa claimed that since Malawi attained its independent, its business environment had been dominated by foreign investors whom have not done it good.

He said that it is high time that the new government had to turn around things and consider empowering local investors in various business opportunities.

In his response, the Malawi leader indicated that his government would empower Malawians to venture into tangible businesses through deliberate economic empowerment strategies that will support Malawians to enter into joint ventures with foreign investors.

He added that his administration also plan to facilitate the promotion of quality in local products and promote the Best-Buy-Malawian campaign.

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