Local entrepreneurs have been tipped to take advantage of the first-ever Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) to establish consortiums and investment vehicles to partner foreign investors that will be part of the forum at the end of this month.
Gimm Holdings Private Limited managing director Grant Chikweza said this on Friday in Lilongwe when he addressed Lilongwe-based journalists ahead of the forum on June 29 and 30.
The company, which specialises in water drilling, investments and logistics and car renting, and has partly sponsored the event, will showcase its products during the forum at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.
“I am encouraging fellow local entrepreneurs to take this opportunity by creating consortiums that could then be used to partner with big foreign companies in terms of capital injection for specific bankable projects. As a local company, we think this is a viable way of undertaking huge projects that could transform Malawi,” said Chikweza.
As of last week, the forum had attracted 50 international companies that include regional banks and other financial players from Asia, according to the Malawi Investment Trade Centre (Mitc).
“As Malawians, it is an open secret that we are not good in creating partnerships. But learning from what is happening in other countries, consortiums and strong partnerships are what are transforming most nations worldwide,” he said.
Chikweza hoped that the forum will help local businesses share innovative ideas between big and small firms and also help small local businesses tap business wisdom from international business gurus.
Reacting to the suggestions on forming consortiums, Mitc chief executive officer Clement Kumbemba described the proposals as “extremely important”, saying by organising the forum, government is targeting both foreign and local companies that have to network with each other.
“We believe that some have money and some have ideas and this could be a marketplace where they can come and link up,” he said.
Kumbemba said Mitc is also contemplating coming up with a package of projects before inviting Malawian companies to subscribe or invest in such projects; hence, raising much-needed capital.
Minister of Industry and Trade Joseph Mwanamvekha earlier hinted that the forum will require at least K100 million to be organised and that the local private sector was willing to help.
“For the first time, Malawi will attract a large group of investors at once and it is our hope that they will be able to identify projects which they will be able to fund,” he said.