For every country's economic growth to blossom and flourish, there is an absolute need for a vibrant private sector in place in order to oil the engine of progress and prosperity, Malawi's Vice President, Saulos Chilima has said.
As the novel Covid-19 crisis has caused upheaval within various business sectors; from the re-organisation of value chains, to the fight against climate change and the increasing digitalisation, the Malawi CEO Forum's participants and the country's citizen number two gathered in solidarity to discuss issues that are affecting business and financial growth.
Making the remarks during inaugural Chief Executive Officers' (CEO) Summit held on Friday in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, Chilima, challenged the private sector to spearhead and ignite the affairs of the country as the sector is the engine of the country's economic growth.
Said Chilima: "The Private Sector is the backbone of the country's economic growth and development as it plays a critical role in making the country's financial landscape viable, vigorous and steady.
"The role of the private sector in our country is significant and therefore it is imperative and prudent that the Public Sector works closely with the private sector in a bid to forge a better working environment for economic growth."
Chilima, himself an erstwhile proven private sector business captain, appealed to the private sector in the country to create jobs if the country is to grow its tax revenue base.
Therefore, Chilima assured the private sector that government will continue to safeguard the working environment of sector as one way of boosting the economy.
The Veep then praised the inaugural CEOs forum saying it offers a meaningful Public Private Partnership opportunities in the quest for industry based economic transformation.
However, the Vice President urged the private sector to take up the challenge of the industrialisation agenda with sacrifice in the exploitation of the numerous opportunities at the disposal.
Chilima said the collaboration between the private and public sectors will help CEOs from the both divides to share views and explore partnerships for commercial ventures.
Among the notable faces who attended the summit, included the newly-minted Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General, Martha Chizuma, National Planning Commission Director General Dr Thomas Munthali, Standard Bank Chief Executive Officer, Philip Madinga, among several others.
According to Chilima, leaders in both public and private sector should be the ones to take the bullet before punishing employees with retrenchments when an institution faces financial stress.
"I would like to assure you, the private sector of the government's commitment to the creation of the enabling environment for trade and investment, citing the country's agenda 2063, which describes the private sector as one of the seven enablers of economic transformation.
Standard Bank Chief Executive Officer, Philip Madinga asked government to promote private sector investment through good governance.
Madinga challenged government to reorganise and strengthen the private sector institutions like the Malawi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) to ensure the country achieves the vision 2063.
"Government must promote and help private sector investment by creating an enabling and conducive environment that will allow the private sector organisation operate smoothly," said Madinga.
Madinga further suggested that the government consider the re-establishment of Malawi Development Corporation (MDC) to play a leading role in the actualisation of long term investment in key sectors.
The Malawi CEO Forum which is an annual event aims to bring together decision-makers from the largest Malawian companies, international investors, multinational executives, and representatives from the main financial institutions active in the country.
This forum is a place for high-level meetings, experience sharing and deciphering trends affecting the business world and it also aims to propose concrete and innovative solutions to move the country and its businesses forward and thorough-out.