Malawi received K103 billion ($143 million) in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2015, up from last year’s K93 billion ($130 million), representing a 10 percent increase, a UN report has shown.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) 2016 World Investment Report released on Tuesday indicates that despite registering an increase, at regional level, Malawi’s FDI remained the poorest at the bottom of 10 Southern African countries under study.
According to the report Southern African countries-Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia—in total received $17.9 billion in FDI.
In 2013, FDI flows to Malawi stood at $120 million (K86 billion) but rose to $130 (K93 billion) in 2014 to hit $143 million (K103 billion) last year.
Malawi’s FDI outflows, however, continued performing poorly since 2013.
According to the report, FDI outflows stood at negative $46 million in 2013, negative $50 million in 2014 and negative $15 million in 2015.
Global FDI flows jumped by 38 per cent to $1.76 trillion, their highest level since the global economic and financial crisis of 2008 to 2009 to a surge in cross-border mergers and acquisitions to $721 billion from $432 billion in 2014.
Unctad Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi said in a statement that FDI inflows to Africa could return to a growth path in 2016, increasing by an average of 6 percent to $55–60 billion.
Reacting to the development, Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) public relations manager Deliby Chimbalu said the increase is as a result of the reforms that are being done in the investment sector as well as opening up of the energy sector.
“We are currently streamlining the investment registration process through the one-stop service centre and through this, we have managed to reduce the number of days it would take to register a business thereby reducing hassles that were previously being met by our potential investors.
We have also intensified our marketing efforts as evidenced for the various investors forum being hosted both in Malawi and outside Malawi,” she said.
Chimbalu added that the opening up of the energy sector has also brought in a lot of investors, a development which has brought in a lot of infrastructural changes,” he said. n