Malawi Investment Trade Centre (Mitc) has said it has taken up steps to cushion loss of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country which it has admitted is under severe pressure in view of global disruption.
Presently, Malawi and other sub-Saharan Africa countries are expected to register a 10 percent drop in foreign direct investments (FDI) this year, as inflows remain subdued due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) FDI—investment made by a company or individual from one country in business interests in another country—will further weaken this year, to $25.2 billion, from last year’s $28 billion.
But Mitc acting public relations officer Mode Chanza said in a written response to questions on Tuesday said the Mitc will, among others, promote local investment.
“The country has bemoaned for some time on the economic gains that Malawi loses by being a net importer and exporting unprocessed products.
“Among several strategies of boosting the production capacity of the country and dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic effects, we are building the capacity of local investors to seize the existing opportunities and putting in place strategies that assist them to maximise productivity and quality of products,” she said.
She said the Mitc is employing and will intensify facilitating joint ventures and linking local investors to financing and other support institutions.
Said Chanza: “Mitc is planning to hold more business forums with local investors as well as diaspora to publicise investment opportunities and facilitate their investments.
“We will also intensify follow ups with existing investor leads and provide them with strategic support so that they invest in the country and share information on opportunities with existing investors and support them to expand their investment in the country,” she said.
According to Chanza, Mitc is also leveraging on its working relationship with Malawi Missions abroad to promote investment and trade opportunities and identify investor leads.
She said Mitc is already engaging with the missions abroad.
“Recently, Mitc held a meeting with the Malawi Embassy in the United Kingdom and Honorary Consuls, presenting and discussing business opportunities in Malawi.
“In this way, Mitc will generate more interest and give confidence to investors to invest in the country. We have already made good progress on this,” she said.
According to Chanza the Mitc also intends to employ more of digital marketing to publicise investment opportunities and generate investor leads.
Currently, according to Chanza, Mitc has a website which services investors with business information and opportunities which will further be enhanced to respond to emerging needs.
She said Mitc will furthermore continue to engage with potential leads and stakeholders through online platforms such as holding meetings through webinar sessions and hosting online investment promotion forums.
Available data from the Unctad shows that globally, FDI inflows collapsed in 2020, falling 42 percent from $1.5 trillion in 2019 to an estimated $859 billion.