Government launches investment guide
By Deborah Manda
Government has launched an online portal, the Malawi Investment Guide (iGuide), which will help investors to find required information under one platform hence doing away with the cumbersome scenario of moving from one office to another in search of information.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Henry Mussa told Mining & Trade Review that the iGuide, among other things, provides information on the laws of the country pertaining to foreign investment.
The iGuide also provides information on the compendiums of all bankable projects that investors out there can be attracted into, and beyond that the incentives that are on offer to both foreign and local investors,
The Minister explained that the iGuide is an important tool that will disseminate information, which potential investors have labored to obtain by travelling from one office to another, at a touch of a button.
From now on, all relevant institutions and ministries that have the information that would attract and motivate investors will be under one roof via a touch of a button through the investment guide,
said the minister.
Mussa bemoaned lack of interest by local investors to attend the launch, which was mainly patronized by foreign investors and members of the diplomatic community.
I thought locals would have been in majority to express keen interest to go into joint ventures with foreign investors and enlighten the foreigners on the status of the local investment climate in this forum.
We are not only targeting foreign investors but local investors as well, who are accorded investment incentives similar to those on offer for foreign investors,
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Chief for Sub-Regional Data Center Southern African Office Sizo Mhlanga described the launch of the iGuide as a national approach to investment and touted the portal as a vibrant marketing tool for Malawi to attract investors.
Mhlanga explained that the iGuide will help investors to easily acquire information about the country and the sectors in which they are planning to invest.
What the iGuide does is that it brings together all the institutions into a web based platform and an investor can access the information from registration of companies to tax information under one platform,
Malawi is the second African country to launch this project after the Democratic Republic of Congo while Zambia and Nigeria are also in the process of coming up with a similar portal.
UNECA worked jointly with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to develop the portal which has been handed over to the government of Malawi, which will be responsible for updating the website.
Principal Secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Dr Ken Ndala said the development of the iGuide emanates from the National Investment Policy whose role is to support the creation of an enabling policy and legal frameworks that would encourage private sector investment and facilitate economic growth.
The Malawi Government has scaled up measures to improve the country’s business climate and attract more foreign direct investment to spur economic growth.
In addition to developing the iGuide, the government has established the One Stop Service Centre at the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) to facilitate more investment, streamline and simplify business set-up processes such as company registration, granting of immigration permits, taxation and land acquisition issues.
This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 60 (April 2018).