Malawian renewable energy firms are engaging potential UK investors for investment opportunities in the sector.
Innovate UK, which is part of the UK Research and Innovation, is organising a virtual marketplace for renewable energy players, an initiative that seeks to provide a platform for Malawian companies in the renewable energy sector to participate in webinars and conduct one-on-one virtual meetings with potential investors for possible business opportunities.
Malawi Investment and Trace Centre (Mitc) public relations manager Deliby Chimbalu said this is a great opportunity for Malawi to tap into the resources available and build business relationships internationally.
She sajd: “The initial plan was to have the Innovate UK visit Malawi in July this year. But because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the visit has been postponed hence the virtual market place.”
The virtual market place, which started on June 1, will end on June 26 2020.
Mitc is working with the Malawi-UK Business Group in identifying investors and partners for the improvement of trade and investment between Malawi and the UK.
The development comes at a time when Malawi’s investment flows have slowed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic as businesses across the globe have been disrupted.
Mitc figures indicate that in the first quarter of 2020, the centre issued investment certificates to seven companies, representing a 59 percent decline compared to the corresponding period last year.
Chancellor College economics professor Ben Kaluwa earlier observed that Malawi would suffer a double blow in its quest to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in view of the pandemic amid a hostile political environment which scares investors.
Meanwhile, a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) Investment Monitor for April 2020 rated Malawi among countries in Africa with the lowest levels of FDI and advised the country to consider liberalising measures in various industries so as to ease entry barriers for investors.
Available figures show that in 2018, Malawi raked in $102 million (about K75 billion) in FDIs, an increase from $90 million (about K67 billion) in 2017, but a decline from 2016’s $116 million (about K86 billion) and $510 million (about K377 billion) in 2015.