Malawiâ€™s key donors under the Common Approach to Budget Support (Cabs) have lauded President Joyce Bandaâ€™s measures for growing the ailing economy.
The measuresâ€”outlined in Bandaâ€™s maiden State of the Nation Address in Parliament on 18 May 2012â€”include establishing a friendly business environment, rolling out an aggressive electrification programme, increasing exports, boosting production and promoting private sector-led growth.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, on Thursday, Cabs co-chairperson Andrew Mwaba, who is also African Development Bank (AfDB) resident representative for Malawi, said donors are pleased with the path Banda announced.
Said Mwaba: “Most [development partners] support actions government takes. We are ready to help implement the measures that the President announced that will level the playing field for all investors.”
Malawi receives harmonised general budget support from Cabs which comprises United Kingdom (UK), Norway, the AfDB, the European Union (EU), the World Bank and Germany.
Mwaba said Cabs is looking forward to seeing the measures addressing some bottlenecks that have been derailing high economic growth rates for Malawi in recent years.
He expressed optimism that Malawi will reclaim the suspended grant from the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) aimed at upgrading the countryâ€™s power infrastructure.
â€˜Economic prospects rosyâ€™
Mwaba said prospects of turning around the Malawi economy appear rosy. He said in the next few months, donors are hopeful that the country will have foreign currency inflows that could help boost capacity of the manufacturing sector.
When announcing the measures, the President said her administration has ended predatory tax audits, unfair and arbitrary appeals procedures by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).
She said government will review and simplify the current tax regime to make it encouraging for business, investment and to support job creation.
Banda also said procedures for licensing, work permits and visas will be reviewed and simplified to encourage foreign investment and tourism.
BandaÂ said her administration has re-engaged the MCC, the World Bank and the Mozambican Government on the Cahora BassaÂ power interconnection.