Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) has got the nod to construct a purpose-built One-Stop Service Centre for investment.
This follows President Peter Mutharika’s approval for the construction of the modern building in Lilongwe, according to Mitc public relations manager Deliby Chimbalu.
Earlier this year, Mitc unveiled plans to construct an eight-storey building to house the One-Stop Service Centre for investment and trade.
The building was expected to house officials from Immigration Department to process permits and export promotion and investment promotion officials so that potential investors can process investment opportunities and find information under one roof.
During the February 2014 Mid-year Budget Review, K400 million was deducted from Ministry of Trade and Industry allocation of K3.1 billion ($6.9 million) following failure to purchase the building for the centre.
Initially, Mitc had allocated about K330 million for the purchase of the building which has since not been bought as the centre failed to find a building befitting its requirements.
In an interview on Thursday, Chimbalu commended government for approving the construction of the centre, review of the MIT Act and introduction of levies which she said will help improve service delivery.
She said: “As Mitc, we are happy that the President has approved these reform areas which we submitted through the Public Service Reforms Commission. This will greatly improve our service delivery in the promotion and facilitation of investment and trade.”
Chimbalu said Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development allocated Mitc land along the Presidential Drive at City Centre in Lilongwe where the new building is set to be put up.
The development comes at a time Malawi’s business performance on the international scene is registering a positive stride. For example, the World Bank Doing Business (DB) Report 2015 has ranked Malawi 164 out of 189 economies, rising a step up from last year’s position 163 and, on the distance to frontier (DTF), the country, with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of $270, improved by 2.05 percentage points to 49.20 from 47.15 in 2014.
According to the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) Doing Business Survey 2014, lack of information on product markets and technology remains one of the obstacles to doing business in Malawi, a challenge which the new Centre for Investment could possibly address.n