Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe has urged the private sector to build resilient businesses that will help grow the country’s economy.
He made the call on Thursday evening in Mangochi when he opened a three-day business leaders’ summit organised by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) to discuss solutions to revamp businesses and the ailing economy battered by the impact of Covid-19 and tropical cyclones Ana and Gombe.
Lowe admitted that Covid-19 has affected the country’s economy and that there is need to build back better.
He said: “Among others, the pandemic has adversely undermined production in key export value chains through disruptions in global supply chains, and has created weak external demand for Malawi’s products.
“As a consequence, the level of accumulation of foreign reserves has fallen.”
He said building a resilient and inclusive economy was not easy, as such, there is need for domestic investment to ensure the economy recovers.
“There is need for investment in skills development and technology infrastructure to ensure local production is competitive and is able to produce the right amount of capacities to match local demand,” said Lowe.
MCCCI president James Chimwaza said when the performance of businesses is reignited, they will be able to expand their operations, create sustainable jobs and contribute more to domestic revenue.
“Sustainable jobs are the most reliable source of income for the majority of people,” he said.
In her presentation during the summit, NBS Bank plc deputy chief executive officer Temwani Simwaka urged business captains to prepare for eventualities in their businesses.
This year’s summit was held under the theme ‘Drawing Lessons and Insights from the Covid-19 Pandemic: Building Back a Resilient Economy’ and attracted more 50 business captains.