Some international exhibitors who attended this year’s Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) have urged government to empower local entrepreneurs with bankable projects to venture into partnerships with potential foreign investors.
In an interview with Business News on the sidelines of MIF 2018 last week, India based Solar Panel Manufacturer director Chintan Punawara said without joint ventures, it would be difficult for local companies to grow at a fast pace because international investors are sceptical when they do not have full information of investment opportunities in a particular country.
He said: “The investment forums are very crucial in attracting investors but what is critical is that government must take a leading role in encouraging joint ventures. It is the duty of government to convince investors to venture into partnerships with local companies because with government intervention, investors will have confidence in the locals.”
On his part, Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi president Mike Mlombwa urged Malawi Investment Trade Centre (Mitc) as well as government to help locals who have bankable projects to get partnerships.
He said: “Everywhere else in the world, governments have helped local investors to grow. What is needed is to have those who have bankable projects helped to go into partnerships with foreign companies because what we need is for locals to participate in companies owned by foreigners so that they can be empowered.”
Mitc chief executive officer Clement Kumbemba urged local investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities brought by the investment forums and stop complaining.
“These forums are very crucial to the development of the economy and my plea to local investors is to stop whining and take advantages that come with such forums,” he said.
About 30 foreign investors attended this year’s Malawi Investment Forum.