President Chakwera’s relentless approach to woo Foreign Investors on his trip commended

By Durrell Namasani

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has been commended for upping his game in trying to woo Foreign Direct Investors to Malawi. After a very successful Investors summit in Kenya where he was on a three-day official visit, the President has arrived in Dubai where he has highlighted that looking for investments for Malawi will be key on his agenda.

The commendation has come from Chalo Mvula, The current global Chairperson of the Malawi Congress Party Diaspora Network and a seasoned Foreign Direct investment commentator. Mvula highlighted that there is something unique to the Presidents trip this time around as he seems to be taking a more relentless and aggressive approach towards trying to convince Investors that Malawi is ready to welcome foreign direct investors (FDI)

Mvula pinpointed a few key areas that will likely make President Chakwera a success with investors and that includes the President image’s as a serious, focused and development minded leader and the growing location factors that’s making Malawi conducive for Investors. “Firstly, Malawi will benefit from how Chakwera is perceived, his global image at the moment is that of a leader keen to change the fortunes of his country and his mannerism can easily give confidence to investors “ Mvula said. He however said, image alone is far from convincing someone   to risk his finances, but Malawi  is currently blessed with key location factors  that investors look for , among them  is the political stability, availability of natural resources , plenty of skilled human capital, improved transport and other infrastructures and the improved communication systems.

Chakwera addressing an Investment Forum while in Kenya

While in Kenya. President Chakwera addressed a Malawi Investment Forum where he did his best to sell Malawi as the new investment hub. In his address, he stated that his administration is unflinching in its commitment to maintain Malawi’s rising profile as a suitable place to do business.  Chakwera mentioned a few key areas that Malawi is banking on in its quest to attract investors. Among them is the establishment of a one stop Service Centre at the Malawi Investment and Trade centre (MITC) designed to reduce the time investors take before their businesses are up and running.

Chakwera also mentioned of access to land through The Lands Act 2016, where land will be made available to investors through the powers vested in Ministry of Lands.

On the role that Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) is playing in being central to all the investment initiatives, Mvula said the belief  that President Chakwera will be a success on attracting investors stems from the great groundwork that MITC has done   “I have been following investment initiatives in Malawi  for a long time, but I can testify that the current set up in MITC is the best we have had in  years . The Compendium that has been put together to provide vital information to investors has covered all the key areas. The investment body and the Ministry of Trade have transformed the investment initiatives leaving the President facing potential investors with enough arsenal on his side to convince Investors “ said Mvula

President Chakwera has been dangling the investment carrot with promises to good incentives to be provided by Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), the availability of beautiful landscapes and abundant natural resources, trainable workforce and strong judicial system. The President has key sectors  that he says offers the best opportunity for investors  and these are: The mining sectors , with Malawi having minerals like gold, gemstones and others, and recently legalized Cannabis farming.

FDI analyst Chalo Mvula with President Chakwera: Library Photo

While in Dubai , President Chakwera is scheduled to attend a number of business meetings. Upon landing in Dubai Chakwera didn’t mince words but clearly defined what his mission is while in the country

“I am committed to bring investment to Malawi, enhance cooperation with key countries and catalyse development so that jobs are created; lives of our people are improved via wealth creation and food security achieved. During my working visit in Dubai, I am focused on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as it will play an important role in fostering economic growth and development in our country” said President Chakwera

In his analysis, Chalo Mvula highlighted that the President’s time in Dubai is crucial as not only is it a perfect opportunity to attract some of the well-known big investors, but its also an opportunity to learn how Dubai has been transformed over the years.

“Dubai means business and The President Pitch need to be on point. The fact that this is high on his agenda while there is very commendable. The president is pitching about Malawi Vision 2063 which seeks to turn Malawi into an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation by 2063, well the digitalisation of the world cant be ignored and Malawi has to embrace this quick . As such being in Dubai, a place where ICT development is advanced can offer the opportunity to attract investors  especially in technology area” “said Mvula

The president will attend the 5th Global Sustainable Technology and Innovation Community (G-STIC) scheduled to take place from 24th to 27th October 2021. This is one of the world’s largest conferences where technological solutions for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are discussed.

According to Malawi Investment and Trade Centre , Malawi is a gold mine, flooded with untapped economic opportunities waiting to be explored. Potential opportunities for investment abound, particularly in the following sectors: agriculture, energy, mining, manufacturing, infrastructure development/ICT, Tourism and finance.