The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has called on authorities to be vigilant when prioritising individual investments from pledges made last year.
The call follows an announcement by the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) that it has $1.4 billion (about K1.1 trillion) investment pledges from 105 companies that have been issued with investment certificates by the centre and of these.
Ecama president Chikumbutso Kalilombe yesterday urged Mitc to look at individual situations of the investors and assist them, especially with the energy projects.
He said: “If these projects materialised, it would help the economy but we also hasten to mention the need for sustainability of the investments. In other words, we shouldn’t just have projects which enable others to make a killing and disappear. We thus need local participation and investments that add value and are sustainable for the long term.
“We need to sort the energy problem as a country in the shortest period. We have thus always propagated the need for the country to not only look to outside investment to sort out this problems but to extend the same to local investors, to have national investments in the sector even if from the national budget.”
Mitc public relations manager Deliby Chimbalu said the $1.4 billion from last year’s investment pledges is a big jump from $400 million that was recorded in 2017 from 42 companies.
“The companies that have been recorded in 2018 are new entities while some are existing and they are expanding their investment levels in Malawi. The sectors that these companies will be operating in range from manufacturing, tourism, services, agriculture, energy to mining. It is expected that once they start their operations, they will create about 16 728 employment opportunities,” she said.
Chimbalu said the second largest sector in terms of value is the agriculture and agro-processing sector which has 20 projects and accounts for almost 23 percent of the total value of the investment pledges.