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Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Friday, May 02, 2008

K3 bn investment pledges in first quarter—Mipa

Malawi attracted investment pledges worth US$21.7 million (about K3.04 billion) in the first three months of this year buoyed by improved macro-economic conditions, the Malawi Investment Promotion Agency (Mipa) has said.

Mipa said in a statement released on Tuesday that 28 companies have expressed interest to open their doors in the country, a development expected to create 2,352 jobs.

Out of the 28 companies, six are from Malawi, five each from South Africa and Mainland China with others coming from the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, Canada, Tanzania and other countries.

"Most of the new investment continues to be in general manufacturing. Of the 28 new companies that applied for an investment certificate to start their business, 14 are in manufacturing sector, four in tourism, seven in services and three in agriculture/agro processing.

"Having more local investors is a clear indication that the macro-environment is good. Reduced cost of borrowing by commercial banks in recent days has aided more people to borrow and invest," said Mipa senior manager (corporate affairs) Aretha Kamwendo

Two bank rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) last year from 20 percent to 15 percent saw commercial banks, reluctantly though, slashing their base lending rates to around 19 percent from 27 percent at the start of 2007.

During a business captains’ meeting organised by Industry and Trade Minister Henry Mussa in Blantyre mid last month, local investors cited poor incentives as one of the factors affecting investment in Malawi.

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