Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has said despite having well-crafted policies and strategies, the country’s macroeconomic environment continues to remain volatile due to poor prioritisation of interventions.
In its latest Malawi Business Climate Survey 2016, MCCCI said economic outlook for 2017 is difficult to predict, reflecting the uncertainties characterising the economy in 2016.
According to the report, the confidence that businesses have in the operating environment, as shown by the Business Confidence Index (BCI), has further dropped in the 2016 as compared to 2015 from 65 points to 58.5, losing 6.5 index points.
Reads the report in part: “The major outcome of the survey is that these challenges keep on resurfacing year after year, signaling a lack of consistent and sustainable approach in the implementation of relevant interventions and actions in resolving the challenges.
“Furthermore, short time improvements in some of the obstacles reflect fruits of weak economic governance and a radical approach in implementing critical reforms and interventions that might
help to transform our country from the current state to a potential state as reflected in a number of opportunities that the country has.”
Looking ahead, MCCCI says medium-term projections should be put forward on account of policy actions perceived to contain macroeconomic stability, a normalisation of weather conditions and progress in addressing key supply bottlenecks.
“If there are no immediate interventions to deal with the current load shedding, productivity for sectors such as manufacturing and others will continue waning in 2017 and this will subdue further growth prospects for the year 2017,” reads the report in part.
Access to finance, telecommunications, and electricity, uncertainty in economic and regulatory policies, exchange rate policy, water and crime top the list of barriers to doing business in the country, according to the report.
In a separate interview, George Mwase, deputy director of private sector development in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, said government is working towards the sustainability of the sector.
“Within the circumstances, the private sector is trying to perform well.
“We expect good things to come out because of the initiatives that have been put in place to ensure that there is sustainability in the private sector performance,” he said. n