Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has urged President Peter Mutharika’s administration to walk the talk if the direction that the economy wants to take in the next five years is to materialise.
Ecama president Chikumbutso Kalilombe told Business News yesterday that while prioritising production is key to wealth creation, realisation of the aspiration will mainly depend on whether economic fundamentals that government is banking on hold.
“Holding fundamentals is something that needs to be continuously worked on. This year, we seem to have pressure on the currency even if we are exporting tobacco and we are yet to see the impact of election spending on government borrowing because if it is high, you might find that interest rates might not hold out and inflation will depend on our production pull out. If interest rates holds but growth is what we have always been advocating.
“We would now want to see action on the ground because as a country, we know what to do but we just don’t know how to d o it. We hope we will rationalise what we want to do,” he said.
Kalilombe highlighted that if the economy prioritises production, it will be creating economic activity for the people which he said is needed if the country is to attain a middle-income status.
In his inauguration speech on Friday, Mutharika said in the next five years, his administartion will prioritise production while observing that power shortages have been the biggest setback which he said his government is resolving.
“While we pursue foreign direct investment programme, we are determined to promote local businesses to grow more than ever.
“This is a business approach government. Our ultimate goal is to reduce poverty of the people. Malawi is not a poor country. But the people are poor. We must create new wealth for everyone,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, Catholic University head of Social Science Department Gilbert Kachamba said it will be good if words are turned into actions by addressing all the bottlenecks that prohibit the country from moving forward in terms of development.
“This gives a big inspiration and it will motivate many Malawians of goodwill. All those who will be assisting him must share the same vision. Words are easier said than done,” he said.
Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)executive secretary James Chiutsi said as long as the government walks the talk, this a welcome development.
“We have beautiful documents like the SME Policy but implementation has been the problem. We have some developmental initiatives being used as political tools, leading to resources being allocated without a proper deserving system, we implore change,” he said.