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Agra Convention and Exhibition
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 07:58

Malawi hunting for new markets

Malawi is expected to promote its agricultural products in the Middle East through the Agra Middle East (AgraME) Dubai International Convention and Exhibition to be held next month.

AgraME is a distinguished trade show and conference focused on agriculture and agri-business for the Middle East region.

In addition to the exhibition, a one-day conference will also be running concurrently and will discuss two main topics thus water management for farms and biosecurity policies and practices, both of which are highly relevant to the Malawian context.

The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) is organising participation of the event and has hence said, the event is important as it specifically focuses on agriculture which is Malawi's key priority in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II) and the National Export Strategy (NES) aimed at ensuring sustainable economic growth.

Mitc Publicist, Deliby Chimbalu, said Malawi's participation will go a long way in promoting Malawi agriculture for export to the region and beyond.

"By participating in this fair, the Malawi delegation will be able to implement the valuable lessons learnt from the India Conclave that took place in March, 2017 at AgraME to create even more momentum for the agricultural sector in Malawi.

"Mitc has chosen to attend the AgraME trade fair in Dubai because it provides exposure to Malawian agricultural products to a market that is ripe for export. As a global procurement hub, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) imports almost all of its agricultural products, as do many other countries in the Middle East," Chimbalu said.

She said compared to other trade partners with the UAE, Malawi is still looking to break into that market.

"These products include vegetables, meats, seed cake, coffee, tea, sugar, and oils, among others," she said.

Chimbalu further said, Emirates freighter planes provide weekly direct access between Lilongwe and Dubai which enables the safe shipment of perishable goods.

Source: http://www.times.mw/malawi-hunting-for-new-markets/

 
Malawi India Business Meet
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 09:22

Malawi-India business meet 

In a bid to unlock serious and huge investments in the energy sector, the Malawi government intends to introduce tax holidays for those vying for business ventures in the country.

The promissory bid comes amid the energy crisis that is besetting the country, particularly the unstoppable blackouts that has been paralyzing business ventures for almost a year.

The tax incentives announcement was made by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. It comes on the heels of the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) successful hosting of the first ever Malawi-India business meet on Friday, March 17 in the capital Lilongwe.

The forum attracted over 250 business men and women drawn locally and from Indian. It focused on energy, agro-processing, irrigation, health, and manufacturing sectors.

The business meet aimed at cementing and providing an indicative opportunity for economic empowerment between local traders and their counterparts from India, to tap business management skills from each other.

The Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka Msaka, told the gathering that with the lowering of the country's inflation rate pegged at 18.2 per cent, it was necessary for government to introduce tax incentives in the energy sector so as to attract more foreign investors into the country.

Msaka disclosed that the tax incentives will be in the form of tax holidays, duty-free on energy sector equipment, among others.

The Energy Minister added that the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is working on modalities for the implementation of the initiatives in its next national fiscal plan.

"We have made our case clear that the serious investors in the energy sector, should come in with their resources as some tax incentives are put forward for them. Huge energy investments will attract tax holidays for particular years.

"The energy sector is the backbone of economic development for any nation. This is the reason we are leaving no stone unturned so as to avert the energy crisis as we depend on hydro power to generate the much needed electricity," Msaka said.

Echoing on the same, Joseph Mwanamveka, Trade Minister assured investors of total security when wanting to venture into business in the country.

In his remarks, Suresh Kumar Menon, Indian High Commissioner to Malawi expressed gratitude over the meeting with the launched of Indian Business Handbook that contains various businesses happening in both two nations.

Indian Commissioner Menon assured total commitment on his country to support for Indian companies to participate in its growth and development.

According to the International Trade Centre (ITC) Malawi's exports to India rose from US$31,740,000 in 2014 to US$67, 552,000 in 2015 representing 6.3 per cent of Malawi's exports.

On the other hand, Malawi's import from India declined from US$243,177, 000 in 2014 to US$177, 752, 000 in 2015, leaving Malawi-India gap at –US4110, 202, 000 in 2015.

Source: Maravi Post 

 
India Business Summit
Thursday, 02 March 2017 09:49

Malawi to attend 12th annual CII-Exim Bank Africa Project Conclave in India

Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC), is leading the Malawi Delegation to the 12th annual CII-Exim Bank Africa Project Conclave to be held in New Delhi, India on 9-10 March. The Conclave is an annual event that brings together business and government leaders from India and Africa to discuss policy and investment opportunities. The Conclave is the most important event for building partnerships and enhancing economic engagement between the two regions and has given new strategic direction to India-Africa economic relations.


The Malawi delegation consist both government and private sector actors from over 10 different institutions and companies. The Malawi Delegation will promote Malawian goods for export at its exhibition booth and will also promote business projects for investment. During past Conclave's more than 2,500 projects from all across the African continent worth USD 256.63 billion have been discussed for investment.


Meanwhile, MITC and the India High Commission in Malawi are organizing a Malawi-India Business Meet scheduled for 17 March, 2017 in Lilongwe. The forum will catalyze the excitement and business opportunities surrounding the Malawi-India partnership.


Malawi and India have overtime enjoyed an increasingly cordial business and diplomatic working relationship. According to the International Trade Centre, Malawi's exports to India rose from US$31,740,000 in 2014 to US$67,552,000 in 2015, which represents 6.3% of Malawi's exports. On the other hand, Malawi's imports from India declined from US$243, 177,000 in 2014 to US$177,752, 000 in 2015. Hence the trade gap for Malawi-India in 2015 stood at -US$110,202,000.

 
Tete Market
Thursday, 02 March 2017 09:47

                                           Malawi products on demand in Tete, Mozambique

There is a growing demand for Malawian products in Tete, Mozambique. This is according to research done by Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) under the Enhanced Integrated framework (EIF) project in the area. Malawian Products such as Sobo Squash and Soya pieces are a common sight in Tete. Although these are found in the area through informal trade, the demand for the products is huge. 


Consul General for Malawi Tete Consulate, Wilson Moleni, has disclosed that there is need to formalize the trading of these products for the benefit of Malawi and Mozambican economies.


"with what we have found here in Tete about Malawi products we want now to create market linkages between the Malawi product manufacturers and the Mozambican outlets here so that the products have a proper channel of entering into Mozambique other than using informal routes as it is the case at the moment", explained Moleni.

He further said that there is one supermarket that is willing to stock Malawian alcoholic beverages like Malawi Gin, Malawi Vodka and Malawi Brandy. Moleni expressed optimism that through the EIF project that is being implemented by the government of Malawi through MITC, his office in Tete will facilitate the penetration on Malawian products into the Mozambican market and other markets along the Nacala corridor.


The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is a joint initiative of the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) aimed at addressing trade-related development challenges for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).


In Malawi, the EIF is supporting the implementation of the Support to Agro-Processing Special Economic Zone Roadmap and Promotion of Value-added Exports Project and Promotion of Smallholder Farmer Linkages to Agro-processors through the Anchor Farm Model Project.

 
President Mutharika Opens Malawi-China Investment Forum
Friday, 24 June 2016 07:22

Malawi-China Investment Forum

Malawi's transition from aid to trade demands massive industrialization drive which should be underlined by building capacity among local investors and courting foreign investors into the economy, says President Arthur Peter Mutharika. He was speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday when he opened the Malawi-China Investment Forum.


"We have a broader investment agenda because we are broadening and diversifying the sources of our economy. We are moving Malawi from a consuming and importing economy to a producing and exporting economy. Therefore, you have come at the right time in our history, " said the President.


He added, "Moving Malawi from aid to trade demands that we must be producing and exporting in several sectors. We are therefore inviting direct investment in agriculture and agro-processing, energy, mining, ICT, tourism, infrastructure and manufacturing, and many more."

President Mutharika reiterated the importance of the private sector in achieving the investment goal. "Our policy on the private sector is clear. We believe that the private sector is the driver of economic development in this country. We believe that foreign and domestic investment is the engine of economic development. We are focusing on developing the private sector in order to create more jobs for our people, " he said.


He assured both local and foreign investors of his government's commitment to create a conducive business environment through economic, administrative, legislative and regulatory reforms.


The event which had been convened under the theme "Fostering Production Capacity Cooperation between Malawi and Anhui Province of China" brought about 100 investors from Anhui Province of China and 250 local businesses.


Areas of focus during the event were Industry, Agriculture, Agro-Processing and Education.

Leader of the Chinese delegation, Song Weiping, hopes the forum will bear fruits that will trickle down to the population through job creation and spin-off small and medium ventures. Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Shi-Ting Wang, said the cooperation between the two countries aims at achieving win-win outcomes for both populations through trade and cultural exchanges. He added that investment is the best way to go for Malawi than donations.

The forum is one of the best interventions by Malawi to boost exports to China in a trading regime where there is a huge trade imbalance between the two countries.
As of last year's stats Malawi exported goods and services valued at $55 million which only represents 5. 2 percent of total exports. On the other hand the country imported from China goods and services worth $303 million imports from China.

Anhui Province - which has a population of 70 million - has a gross domestic product (GDP) estimate that stands at $350 billion dollars which is the same as that of South Africa.


The province has vibrant industries in Automobile, Mechanics and Agro-processing among others.

 
Chinese Investors impressed with Malawi
Friday, 24 June 2016 07:09

Salima GBI Projects Impress Chinese Investors


By Kondwani Magombo
The visiting Chinese investors have described the imposing sugar factory and fruit production venture, Malawi Mangoes, in Salima, as evidence of the country's potential for investment.


Director General of Agriculture for the Province of Anhui, China, Zhou Shiqi, made the remarks on Wednesday in Salima after the delegation toured the two projects to appreciate the viability of agro-based investment under irrigation.


Zhou said with what his delegation had seen in Salima, investors from his province in China would highly be interested to invest in the country's agri-business.


"We are very impressed with the abundant opportunities the country has in various sectors including irrigation and with our technical expertise, human resources and equipment, we can turn around the country's economy through investing in such areas," explained Zhou.


He said the Anhui Province is endowed with agricultural investors who would be more than interested to come to Malawi for investment in the sector.


Commenting on the tour, Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) Director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation, Joshua Nthakomwa, hailed the tour saying it had been worthwhile and that it would soon yield results.


He disclosed that the Chinese investors had also shown interest in the education sector especially the development of technical colleges.
"We are very optimistic that with the impression they are taking back home to Anhui Province, the investors will sit down and strategize on way forward," explained Mthakomwa.


The tour came after President Prof. Peter Mutharika, launched the Malawi-China Investment Forum in Lilongwe on Tuesday where over 300 business captains from Malawi and China's Anhui Province met to discuss business deals.


Other than touring the Salima Sugar Factory and the banana/mangoes plantations and the water source, the delegation also toured Malawi Mangoes Fruit Processing plant in Salima before retiring to Senga-bay for lunch.

 
Malawi-China Investment Forum
Monday, 13 June 2016 11:22

The Governments of the Republic of Malawi and People's Republic of China have organized the Malawi-China Investment Forum. The forum will host a delegation of over 100 Chinese investors from China's Anhui Province mostly in agriculture and agro-processing, industry/manufacturing and education sectors.


Speaking to members of the press in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Clement Kumbemba said the forum presents a unique opportunity for Malawi to sell its investment opportunities to Chinese Investors.


'We are seeking the possibility of transformational Chinese investment in Malawi through this forum. We want to empower Malawian entrepreneurs through possible ventures with Chinese counterparts while intensifying the government and business relations between the two countries', said Kumbemba.


Malawi and China enjoy an increasingly cordial business and working relationship. According to the International Trade Centre, Malawi exported goods and services worth US$55,874,000 to China in 2015, which represents 5.2% of Malawi's exports. In the same year, Malawi imported goods and services worth US$303,819,000 from China.

Although the trade gap may seem to be wide, China has been making deliberate moves to reduce this gap through such approaches as:

1. Empowering Malawians through various training programs in China so that they are able to develop appropriate concepts and strategies that would propel Malawi's growth
2. Encouraging Chinese companies to come and invest in Malawi in order to achieve import substitution and export-oriented-ness
3. Supporting Malawi develop her productive infrastructure necessary for growth.

The Malawi-China Business forum will be held on the 21st June, 2016 in Lilongwe at Golden Peacock Hotel. It is expected that the State President His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika will officially open the forum.

 
FINANCIERS FORUM
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 12:24

Malawi gears for Second Investment Forum with major financing summit

Malawi has started preparations for the second ever Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) scheduled for later this year with a mini forum for major investment financiers slated for Blantyre on 10th May 2016, the Malawi Trade and Investment Centre (MITC) announced on Wednesday.

MITC Chief Executive Officer Clement Kumbemba said at a media briefing in Lilongwe the financiers' forum will bring regional and international financiers to a roundtable with local private sector and entrepreneurs.

"The objective is to bring the financiers to our doorsteps to interact with our private sector companies and entrepreneurs that have bankable proposals and discuss with financiers on project finance support and equity participation, among other possible models," Kumbemba added.

Among the international financiers attending the Blantyre forum include the PTA Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and African Development Bank, Afrexim Bank, African Development Bank and Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.

Meanwhile MITC has confirmed preparations are already underway for the main investors' forum slated for October with invitations to speakers and participating companies being sent.

MITC says it expects this year's forum to be more improved following lessons drawn from maiden forum, citing for example, the decision that this year only fifteen bankable projects will be promoted during the forum to ensure tangible progress.
"We want Malawi to be an attractive and preferred destination on the global investment map," said Kumbemba.

However, Kumbemba said the first forum continues to bear fruits citing scores of investors who have followed up on interests expressed during the 2015 forum with subsequent visits to sign MOUs, embark on construction of physical infrastructure or sign contracts.

He cited, among others, over 27 deals Malawi government has signed MOUs in the energy sector including with independent power producers, the start of construction of a five-star hotel near Mchinji roundabout in Lilongwe, a new fertilizer manufacturing plant under construction in Lilongwe, a company interested in turning the Zambezi and shire river into navigable waters for the Shire Zambezi waterway project, among others.

The MIF, which Malawi last year trumpeted as a push to put the country on the radar for global business and investment, will this year be held in October on 10th and 11th October.

 
Buy Malawi
Monday, 21 March 2016 07:08

Malawi launches Buy Malawi Strategy

The Government of Malawi has launched a Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS) aimed at encouraging consumption of locally produced goods and services.

Launching the strategy on Friday, President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika said it is high time Malawians play a role in spurring investment and local manufacturing

 “We are importing too much because we are not patriotic enough to promote our own industries and services. Under Buy Malawi Strategy, we are talking about investment. We are talking of change of business strategies,” pointed out President Mutharika.

The President also encouraged local businesses and the private sector to be innovative for them to compete favorably on the market.

“I would therefore like to challenge the private sector to be innovative, to diversify their portfolios, and become aggressive in producing value added products, for both the domestic, and foreign markets. We must produce; and promote what we produce,’’ added Mutharika.

The Buy Malawi Strategy is being driven by Ministry of Industry and Trade.  

 
MITC LAUNCHES TRADE PORTAL
Thursday, 19 November 2015 08:37

MITC  LAUNCHES TRADE INFORMATION PORTAL

The Malawi Investment Trade Centre and the National Statistics Office (NSO) yesterday (Tuesday) launched web-based information hubs NSO-run Trade Map and MITC-run Trade Information Portal hailed to improve trade intelligence for potential investors and traders.


Speaking during the double launch in Lilongwe, MITC Chief Executive Officer Clement Kumbemba said information on the hub and map was crucial for diversification of the economy by ensuring both foreign investors and local producers have access to vital trade information.


Kumbemba said the trade portal will also help policy makers to ensure policies that can improve trade prospects for the country. "This will enable policy-makers to make better informed trade related decisions. Malawi has been encountering challenges in collecting, packaging and disseminating trade information. This will improve accessibility and relevance of the information services by MITC," said Kumbemba.


Kumbemba said that MITC has dedicated a team to be regularly upgrading the Portal and also respond to queries raised by investors and traders seeking feedback.
The European Union with technical support from International Trade Centre (ITC) has been facilitating the development of the two web-based centres as part of the improved trade Statistics and Information System programme.


EU Head of Delegation Marchel Germann said Malawi's attempt to diversify the economy needs to be supported with initiatives such as the establishment of the information systems.


"This is an excellent time to reflect on the importance of trade data and intelligence but also on the need for reliable and robust trade data and information. The data will enable the major stakeholders who determine Malawi's economic activity to enhance the nation's export diversification and development efforts," said Germann.


He explained that 12 million Euros was invested in the two programmes specifically to improve growth and promote diversification of the economic base.
He said the EU is also supporting development of governance structures in the mining sector and improved sector investment in mining.


Germamn further urged the country to urgently diversify the economy; warning that continued over-reliance on tobacco, whose sales currently face a global anti-smoking lobby, puts the country's economic future at great risk.