Private sector will be the future of Malawi’s wealth and job creation: AFCDO

By Dean Chisambo:

Foreign Common Wealth Development Office (FCDO) has lamented that the private sector will be the future of Malawi’s wealth and job creation and they need to work with them.

Speaking during the high level policy roundtable discussion on the Malawi vision 2063 first ten year implementation plan (MIP-1) on Wednesday in Lilongwe, FCDO Acting Chief Economist Nick Lea said they need to take it seriously and listen to them especially power to the private sector which it is not involved in government procurement.

He said:” so I think the very serious thing that we should do or malawi should do, is to implement very serious consultation with the private sector so that they listen to their business difficulties and government can act on them.

“And there is need to review the ways in which malawi is hard to invest, so we can simplify the law and we can simplify the taxes which can make Malawi the easiest place to invest the easiest place to employ, then that’s the quickest way that Malawi can reach the vision of 2063.”

Lea also said the export growth rate is the only way that Malawi can escape it’s poverty and that foreign exchange earned by export is actually critical that can modernise through buying technology from the rest of the world and to use that technology to transform the production which can bring the foreign exchange. And the best way to earn foreign exchange is growth foreign exchange over the long term because foreign exchange comes from the labour rather than the mine which they dig from the ground which keep some medium term of foreign exchange.

He added that the long term foreign exchange is coming from companies, industries that use skills from Malawians and the really successful of economic growth are the ones that manufacture from the global market through Agriculture which can make Malawi to grow things which contain more value and as a result the Malawi’s income will grow, so foreign exchange has to be the centre of Malawi’s plan for development.

On his remarks National Planning Commission (NPC) director general Thomas Munthali said the implementation plan clearly defines two milestone and one of them is to make sure that Malawi is in middle economy by 2030, that’s that’s why they brought the international cooperative partners in order to discuss how they can work and move the journey together, especially to put together that group of people to listen what they have seen as really two properties within what they have and how they can support the aim.

Munthali said this is a start of a series of various constituencies that they wants to meet beyond the aim and they also need to meet the academia, private sector, the religious leaders, the community, the youths and media fraternity so that they can be part of them to make sure that the vision 2063 dream will come to reality.

He said : ” as I saw from the discussion there, it was clear that there were so certain binding constraints,so if you are looking at us meeting the middle income by 2030, it was clear that you needed to have economic infrastructure which includes the energy, issues of connectivity like decentralization, trade facilitation and all of that.

“We have mobilise morden world of domestic mobilisations resources which requires focus not more on the productive sectors but like commercial Agriculture,manufucturing and so on balancing all, development will be very crucial.”

Munthali added that they are talking to the cooperative party with capacities and not that they should perpetually be supportive but to instead the capacity institution or the local institution Should be able to mobilise domestic basics so that they can fund common sustainable agenda.

On his part Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Economic planning and Development Dr Winford Masanjala the first implementation plan of the vision is to acknowledge the fact that the private sector is the engine and they will be very crucial and clear to realise Malawi’s development aspirations, that’s why they went through a series privatisation in inorder to grow them.

Masanjala said through their experience has been that some private sectors has not leaved up to their billing interms of being the source of growth that they had hope and some of the private sector in Malawi rely on government business. instead of being innovative and growing the economy they stumbling the little government procurement and business.

He said: “those that are the dimensions that the private sector remains the engine of growth and government acknowledges that and looks forward to work with the private sector.

Masanjala lamented that government is ready and they have started implementing the first 10 years of the implementation plan and they already identified several projects which will start next couple of months like mdzaleka ,Ntchisi malomo road which is part of the instimulate.

He said:” we are also going to start part of the Balaka market to Nkhatabay M5 road,so those are already in the process, and they are number of projects that are un design stage but have already started implementing 10 years implementation plan.”

He added that they have to move away from agriculture industrialisation for agro-processing and agro-industralisation but they need to move into higher valued chains which are bringing more money and higher value and in the next 15 years they are going to rely on mining and government has taken it upon itself to make sure that in the next 5 years they are going to have a number of mines which will help to diversify economy and achieve the higher growth rate than they have achieved in the past 55 years.

In his sentiment, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Chief executive officer Frank Matsaert said is all about connecting Malawi with it’s neighbors and it’s markets to increase driving job creation and poverty reduction.

He added that they establish a new system of $15 million programme in this country which they will be wealth on water connectivity and industry processors.

American ambassador to Malawi David Beer said the American government will very soon agree with the ambition of Malawi increasing economy and they will work very hard to see how they can work with Malawi to achieve their vision.

He said :” the critical message is that this growth will only come from the private sector ,the private sector will deliver the jobs, incomes, foreign exchange and the revenue which government needs it in public services, so we really need to make Malawi more attractive investment destination than other countries, so that we can put in investments”.

Beer also added that is very important to escape From the corruption through working with law enforcement agencies inorder to try to help government to tackle that problem.

National Planning Commission roundtable discussion meeting brought together seven international cooperative partners.

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