Page 4 - DMA Malawi Report 2013

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Investing In Malawi
D e v e l o p i n g
M a r k e t s
I welcome you
all to Draper’s
Hall. May I also extend an especially warm
welcome to the delegation from Malawi,
led by Her Excellency, Dr Joyce Banda,
President of Malawi, for being prepared
to come to London to meet investors
when there are many pressing issues
facing the government. A welcome too,
to the Malawi companies which have
chosen to come to the Forum today
in order to seek potential par tners.
The concept of par tnership – be it a
joint venture between companies or
the introduction of new investment to
help boost economic development – is
the essence of what DMA’s trade and
investment events are all about.
Malawi remains one of the world’s
poorest countries and has faced growing
macroeconomic management challenges
for several years.The economy performed
well over much of the last decade, with
growth of around 7.0%, well above the
sub-Saharan Africa average, but that has
slowed in the last two years.Never theless
the figure is still expected to be at 5.3%
in 2013. Agriculture continues to be the
main economic activity, an issue which
also impacts on youth employment, it
is mainly at the subsistence level, and
it is inevitably exposed to the vagaries
of nature, both drought and flood.
Never theless, government programmes
of fer tiliser subsidies have dramatically
boosted output in recent years, making
Malawi a net food expor ter. Meanwhile
mining and construction have recently
begun to account for a larger share in
the economy.
In very recent years, too, there have been
issues of difficult relations with donor
countries, notably the US and UK, with
the International Monetary Fund and
with neighbouring states. All of these are
well documented. However, President
Banda’s government has already reached
out to its neighbours, with positive effect.
There is the government’s national
development plan, the Malawi Growth
and Development Strategy (MGDS II,
2011-2016), which identifies nine key
priority areas, some of which you will hear
about today. And there are possibilities
for new areas of development, such as
for example eco-tourism. In addition,
looking ahead, Malawi should benefit
from new links to the outside world
– essential for a landlocked country –
through the infrastructure master plan
of the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC).
Today’s Forum provides an oppor tunity
to connect not only with representatives
of the new government but also with
By Atam Sandhu, CEO,
Developing Markets Associates
potential Malawian par tners, those
companies which have taken the time
and trouble to come to London with this
in mind. You will also hear from outside
companies which have established
themselves in Malawi in the last few
years, and of their experiences. All in all,
I hope that the day will provide you with
an update on a country in the process of
change from the perspective of business.
More than that, though, I hope that it will
contribute to setting aside preconceptions
and indeed trigger an interest to go and
explore oppor tunities for yourselves. As
the Chinese proverb tells us, the journey
of a thousand miles begins with a single
step. Investment decisions are not made
lightly and not made hastily. If however
today marks the single step to begin that
journey then it has achieved its objective,
for the delegation, for the companies
here today, and for DMA.
I wish you an interesting and
productive day.
Atam Sandhu
Chief Executive
Developing Markets Associates
and welcome