Govt k5bn rental  Arrears choke mpico

  Mpico Limited, a Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed property management firm, has said the K5 billion rental arrears it is owed by government has the potential to affect its cash flow. While government has tried to settle arrears through issuance of promissory notes, the firm’s board chairperson Edyth Jiya hopes it would do more to…

Electrical contractors cry foul

  Electrical contractors say they are losing business to uncertified and unregistered firms despite having the backing of Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) and the National Construction and Industry Council (NCIC). In an interview on Tuesday, Electrical Contractors Association of Malawi (Elcam) adviser Montfort Stewart Mataya said while members are encouraged to register with the…

Malawi exports to SA rise, hit K40bn

Malawi’s exports to South Africa were recorded at $54.722 million (about K40 billion) in 2016, according to figures from Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc). Main export commodities to the South African market include oil cakes and other oil seed residues, dried shelled peas, fruits and fruit products and sunflower seeds. In a statement released…

Govt yet to adopt domestic tourism strategy

  Two years after its formulation, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism is yet to operationalise the Malawi Development Tourism Strategy, which could help to increase tourism contribution to the economy. In an interview on Monday, director of tourism in the Department of Tourism, Isaac Katopola, said they hope to have the strategy adopted by…

Export diversification  Still slow, says report

  Malawi’s is yet to make meaningful headway in its export diversification drive, with figures from Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) showing that raw products are topping the export commodities list. In the absence of export diversification, the economy’s concentration on a few agro-based commodities makes it vulnerable to weather and trade related shocks. According to…

Businesses outline export challenges

  Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has said while the general business environment remains challenging, lack of adequate incentives, tax reforms and improper handling of export documents are stifling the export business. MCCCI head of public private dialogue Hope Chavula said this on Thursday in Blantyre through his presentation at the…

Two fuel reserves still dormant

The National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) says it is still exploring operational options for fuel reserves at Chipoka in Salima and in Mchinji following unsuccessful tender for concessioning the fuel storage facilities. In an interview on Wednesday, Nocma spokesperson Telephorus Chigwenembe confirmed that although there is still some fuel in the reserves, there are…

Poor economy affects  savings—economists

Poor economic performance is the main contributing factor to  the country’s low savings, economic experts have said. They argue that this affects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP)—the broadest measure of a country’s economic activity. Latest figures from the World Bank show that the country’s gross domestic savings, which consists savings of households, private and…

More banks cut base lending rates

  More commercial banks continue to react to the recent cut in policy rate—the rate at which commercial banks borrow money from the central bank—from 22 percent to 18 percent. This week, Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed Standard Bank plc cut its base lending rate to 27 percent, the lowest thus far, while Nedbank Malawi and…

Commodity prices give farmers raw deal

  While traders and other businesspeople continue to benefit from agricultural commodities prices, growers on the eother hand have described the prices as exploitative. A pigeon peas farmer based in Lirangwe, on the outskirts of Blantyre, Brian Toloya, is one such farmer who is not happy with the current market prices. Despite the exploitative prices,…

Corruption, labour deficit Hamper business—report

Corruption and lack of skilled and semi-skilled workers continue to impact on Malawi’s business environment, thereby thwarting efforts to attract foreign direct investments (FDI), according to a new report. The 2017 Malawi Investment Climate Statement compiled by the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs of the United States Department published on its website www.state.gov, said…

June inflation rate down to 11.3%—NSO

Reduced food prices have continued to push down inflation, with the rate for June 2017 recorded at 11.3 percent from the previous month’s 12.3 percent, according to the National Statistical Office (NSO). However, the June rate is 0.6 percentage points above the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) June 2017 inflation projection of 10.7 percent. But…

SMEs welcome public procurement law

Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malawi (Smea) has asked authorities to come up with deliberate policies to empower SMEs if the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act is to be a success. Last month, Parliament passed an insertion to the Act which forces government to buy a minimum of 60 percent of…