A 20-member delegation of Malawi members of Parliament (MPs) which has returned from a one-week visit to China has asked prospective investors to invest in education and car manufacturing sectors in Malawi.
The delegation which comprised members of the Business Committee of Parliament was led by Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya. Other members included First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka-Chilenje, Second Deputy Speaker Clement Chiwaya, Leader of the House, who is also Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president and Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera and People’s Party (PP) leader in Parliament Uladi Mussa.
Speaking in an interview, Mcheka-Chilenje said they have invited one of the leading Chinese automobile makers, First Automobile Works (FAW), to open a factory in Malawi as one way of increasing competition in the motor industry.
She said: “We were privileged to observe manufacturing and assembling of heavy goods vehicles, including tippers at FAW. We noted that FAW is already trading and has plants in other countries such as Zambia, Angola, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. And because of this, we encouraged management of the company to consider opening a branch in Malawi to increase competition in the motor industry sector.”
Apart from FAW, the delegation also visited Changchun Automobile Industry Institute where they appreciated and learnt that the institute imparts both skill and knowledge development to students.
Mcheka-Chilenje said the institution trains over 8 000 students every year in automobile aspects.
The lawmakers, thereafter, proposed that a partnership be established between the institution, the Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima) and other technical colleges.
On his part, Kasaila said if investors in the automobile industry could come to Malawi, then the vehicles will be manufactured locally, which will reduce costs.
“These people are not only manufacturing small cars but heavy goods as well so if we can have heavy goods manufacturers here we will reduce some of the challenges affecting the transport sector.