BXR Group, an international private investment group, headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, has asked Malawi to provide a conducive environment for foreign firms operating in the country in the wake of prevailing limited Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow.
The group, with a 15 year-track record of superior investment performance and a diverse range of global interests, has since said it is optimistic about the future of Malawi and that major foreign exchange generation in the country is possible with more projects targeting foreign trade.
“It is important for [Malawi] Government to provide attractive fiscal environment for foreign investors and to make land available,” said the company’s chief executive officer Charles Harman, last week, in a presentation at Drapers’ Hall in London during a 2013 UK-Malawi investment forum attended by over 300 delegates.
He noted that, at present, Malawi’s FDI inflow is limited, but said realisation of successful projects should encourage others ‘and build up necessary momentum.’
Harman noted that large unemployed rural population is currently eager for jobs, adding that Lake Malawi needs investment in irrigation to establish certain agricultural operations.
On one hand, Harman disclosed that his company has become a major shareholder in Malawi Mangoes, a fruit producer growing mangoes and bananas in Salima District.
He said Malawi Mangoes represents another step in the development of BXR Group’s agricultural portfolio and African strategy.
Harman said its investment will be used to irrigate and cultivate a further 1 000 hectares of farmland and also develop a substantial processing in Salima.
He said once complete, Malawi Mangoes hopes to sell long-life fruit pulp to potential customers including Pepsi, Coca Cola, and Innocent Smoothies.
“Malawi Mangoes has great potential to create a large number of jobs, boost the local economy and demonstrate the benefits of investment in Malawi,” said Harman.
In her address to the forum, President Joyce Banda said the forum has come at a very opportune time as Malawi has embarked on a private sector-driven economic growth.
The President said in agriculture, her government seeks to modernise the agricultural sector through crop diversification, commercialisation and expanded education programmes
“We are looking for strategic partnerships. I would like to invite fund managers, financial institutions and private corporations here present to seriously consider partnering with us by seizing these opportunities,” she said.