Stakeholders in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism sector have described National Economic Empowerment Policy (NEEP), whose core objective is to create and nurture new enterprises owned by local Malawians as a milestone for local businesses.
Championed by the ministry, the policy gives opportunity to local businesses to have the opportunity to participate in life changing economic activities and be able to fully realize their potential.
Speaking at a consultation meeting to solicit input from stakeholders on the draft policy in Blantyre on Wednesday, Grain Traders and Processors Association of Malawi president Grace Mijiga Mhango said this policy will give Malawians an opportunity to fully realise their business potential.
“The policy is clear on the need to help small scale farmers in the sense that they are looking at capacity building, skills and financing. The formation of our association has all value chain players and looking at the formation of this policy, we see a link that will hold us with the small scale farmers,” she said.
Economic Empowerment Action Group (Eeag) president Lewis Chiwalo said that in the absence of the policy, local businesses have struggled to fully grow since they were not given the same conditions with foreign businesses that have vast experience and expertise.
“The policy has drafted a number of areas that we have been advocating for such as preferences for local and foreign businesses. We see that government is now promoting a consumable market and we are hopeful that this policy will see Malawians gaining a lot in terms of business promotion,” he said.
Speaking in a separate interview, Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam) president Mike Mlombwa said the policy gives opportunity for businesses to grow.
On his part Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism Cliff Chiunda said the development policy aims to bring about socio-economic transformation to enable local Malawians to be in a position to make their own decisions that will determine and control their economic destiny.