Over 500 investors from 29 countries across the globe meet in Lilongwe Monday to discuss possible investment deals during the third Malawi Investment Forum (MIF).
President Peter Mutharika is expected to open the two-day gathering.
According to Trade and Industry authorities, there are 24 bankable projects to be discussed under the Public-Private Partnership arrangement and 18 private sector projects to be marketed during the two-day forum.
They further indicated that 70 local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be given an opportunity to exhibit their products at the event in a quest to help them find international markets for their products.
The African Union (AU) has since tipped Malawi to take the MIF as an opportunity to enhance regional integration through private sector empowerment.
Speaking during a press conference AU held together with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in Lilongwe recently, AU Regional Delegate to Southern Africa, Southern African Development Community and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leopold-Auguste Ngomo, said the MIF is part of the Africa Free Trade Area strategy.
Ngomo said there is need for Malawi to strengthen and improve its manufacturing industry.
“Promoting regional trade as a catalyst for regional integration falls within the AU’s flagship projects of the Agenda 2063 and it has been made more prominent in 2018 with the adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and its supporting protocols including the Single African Air Transport Market by our heads of state this year.
“It is clear that the private sector has an important role to play in this agenda, both as a key driver of the integration process and a beneficiary of the immense investment, industrial and growth opportunities. However, the private sector is the weakest link in the regional integration process in Southern Africa and the entire continent,” Ngomo said.
A recent study by the World Bank revealed that lack of access to finance and energy challenges continue to make the operating environment in Malawi hostile for the private sector.
MIF is Malawi’s leading and most established gathering of international investment community, leading academics and experts showcasing up-to-date information, strategies and knowledge on attracting foreign direct investment into Malawi.
The event offers a knowledge-based platform with cutting edge information on the latest investment and trade opportunities in Malawi. It also serves as a unique platform to meet, network and exchange experiences, explore business opportunities and sign cooperation agreements and partnerships.