President Mutharika said this after holding an audience with the International Monitory Fund (IMF) Deputy Director Tao Zhang on Thursday evening at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
Zhang is in Malawi to assess the country’s economic situation and the strides it has made on the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).
The Malawi leader said his government’s main objectives remained to reduce inflation to single digit by mid next year and increase real GDP growth to around 7 percent so that Malawi can meaningfully increase the GDP per capita on top of stabilising public debt.
Mutharika also seized the moment to announce that in the next Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS), the country will focus on fewer priority areas, namely Agriculture and Climate Change, Energy Industrial Development and Tourism, Education and Skills Development, Transport and ICT Infrastructure, Tourism, Nsanje Inland Port, and Health and Population Management.
“These areas have been identified as priorities because they address the most binding constraints to economic growth and development in Malawi. Flagship projects will be implemented under each of these areas in order to achieve the desired results,” said Mutharika.
In his remarks, said the fund is ready to support Malawi’s next Extended Credit Facility programme (ECF).
He said despite the challenges the country faced such as droughts and floods among others which affected growth of the economy, government remained focused and implemented cost-cutting measures.
Meanwhile Zhang has asked the Malawi Government to expedite preparations on the next programmes so that the board could scrutinize the proposals and make a determination.
“We aware of the expiry of the ECF programme for Malawi and as IMF, we are committed and ready to support the next programme. However the IMF board will make fresh assessment on Malawi programmes and decide the way forward,” said Zhang.
In order for the country to remain on track, the IMF boss appealed to government to maintain the economic stability, continue improving the public finance management systems and minimize social spending.