Government says potential investors across the globe still have confidence to invest in Malawi despite last week’s post-election stand-off and subsequent sporadic violent scenes in some parts of the country.
Following the stand-off, the private sector led by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) complained that it was difficult for businesses to plan ahead and make solid business decisions as the political temperature was high.
However, speaking on yesterday in an interview, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said Malawi remains an appealing investment destination and continues to enjoy conducive and predictable business environment.
He said despite last week’s political events, the country still has conducive laws, policies and attractive business incentives that encourage both domestic and foreign direct investments in its priority sectors such as tourism, energy, agro-processing, manufacturing and mining, among other sectors.
Msokera said government continues to vigorously pursue various trade facilitation programmes aimed at facilitating investment, private sector development, trade promotion and export growth.
“These include the construction of the national quality infrastructure, development and implementation of the National Single Window System and capacity building of border and related agencies,” he said.
From businesses operating environment point of view, Malawi is currently enjoying one of the best macroeconomic environments in years, characterised by both low interest and inflation rates.
Generally, economic experts contend that political stability plays a key role in influencing foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into a particular country. Countries with an uncertain political or economic crisis usually tend to discourage investment flows.
MCCCI chief executive officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira said Tuesday that most of their members were forced to defer meetings as the future was still hazy.
But random spot-checks that Business News conducted in Lilongwe showed that businesses resumed to normalcy despite Tuesday’s running battles between police and suspected Malawi Congress Party (MCP) followers in City Centre which grounded businesses to a complete halt.
In the May 2014 Tripartite Elections, business mood was dampened despite the election being largely peaceful.
Similarly, in the May 2009 polls, businesses were also not spared of the election fever with major shops having skeleton staff and banks closing for businesses.