Construction industry players have asked Malawi Government to help build capacity of local contractors so that they become competitive both locally and globally.
National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) chairperson Newton Kambala said this at the third national construction fair in Blantyre on Friday.
He said local contractors are expensive compared to foreign construction companies because they rely on hired equipment.
Â â€œAbout 80 percent of the machinery we use is hired and this works to our disadvantage because in the end, our charges are expensive.
Â â€œI urge government to help by giving us big contracts so that we find more money to buy our own machinery,â€ he said.
Kambala, however, urged local contractors to also explore opportunities across the border.
â€œAs local players, we will not just sit back and watch as foreign companies taking up big projects, we strive to build capacity so that we are able to compete both locally and internationally.
â€œBut that can only happen if we change our attitude of waiting instead of going out to look for opportunities,â€ he said.
He applauded local contractors and consultants who are operating in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works Sosten Gwengwe urged local construction companies to improve on efficiency if they are to be competitive locally and internationally.
He said a kilometre of bituminised road cost about $1 million in the region, but local contractors charge more than that.
He said government is committed to creating a conducive environment for the operation and development of local contractors.Â