Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has said it is keen to create an enabling environment to improve the ease of doing business.
The minister responsible Joseph Mwanamvekha said this on Wednesday in Blantyre at a high level doing business forum which was organised in collaboration with the World Bank.
Over the past four years, Malawi’s rank on the World Bank ease of doing business index has shown some positive movements. From position 171 in 2014, the country went up to 164 in 2015, 141 in 2016 and to 133 in 2017.
Malawi was on position 96 on the index in 2006, which means that government’s dream of being in the top 100 countries is achievable.
Mwanamvekha said government will aim to be in top 100 aided by the continued dialogue with the private sector on key issues that affect the business environment in the country.
He said Malawi’s current position on the World Bank doing business index—133 out of 190 countries—shows that the country makes it unnecessarily difficult to register new businesses.
However, Mwanamvekha said the current initiatives being implemented such as the establishment of a one-stop service centre at Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc), the launch of the Malawi Trade Portal, collateral registry, online business registry and the passing of the Insolvency and Company laws have aided the ease of doing business in recent years.
“The various initiatives being implemented demonstrate that issues of private sector development remain at the heart of the government agenda and we will continue implementing measures to create a conducive business environment for private sector development,” said Mwanamvekha.
World Bank practice manager for trade and competitiveness global practice Catherine Masinde urged government to ensure full implementation of the reforms to make substantial progress on the ease of doing business.
“You have to be realistic about the resources you have and plan your reforms in a way you can allocate your resources. The problem with many African countries is that they pay salaries, but cannot provide capital for investments,” she said.
Masinde also urged the private sector to demonstrate unity in passing on its grievances to government to ensure that there are no conflicting views on what the private sector is demanding from government.
A recent World Bank report on Breaking Down Barriers: Unlocking Africa’s Potential through vigorous Competition in August 2016 rated Malawi highly on limiting trade barriers, outperforming the African average. n