Upon arrival in London, the Malawi leader was welcomed by Malawi’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Kena Mphonda, State Residences Director General Peter Mukhito, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Francis Kasaila, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Salim Bagus and Minister of Local Government Ben Malunga Phiri.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has convened the UK- Africa investment forum to strengthen partnerships with African countries and subsequently build a prosperous future for the peoples from the continent of Africa and the United Kingdom.
Mutharika said Friday before departure that the summit provides another platform for Malawi to share with potential investors and opportunities that Malawi has in various areas including trade.
“Malawi’s special interest at the summit is to convince investors to set up businesses in Malawi,” he said. “This is key to improving trade and investment,” he added.
The Summit will bring together businesses, governments and international institutions to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa. The Summit will strengthen the UK’s partnership with African nations to build a secure future for all the citizens.
The summit will also mobilise new and substantial investment to create sustainable jobs, boost mutual prosperity, boost access to education, improve public services and give young people the opportunity to shape their own future.
Meanwhile 16 Malawian companies will attend the summit, the Malawi Investment and Trade Center (MITC) says.
Chief Executive Officer for MITC Clement Kumbemba said out of the 16 10 are from the private sector while 6 are public entities.
"The presence of these companies at the summit is a milestone because these are the entities with bankable projects hence the optimism that Malawi shall immensely benefit from the forum which will be graced by the Malawi leader," said Kumbemba.
Among the companies from the private sector are Cape Maclear Initiative and Nalipiri Holiday Resort from the tourism sector and Mchenga Mine from the mining sector, while the Green Belt Initiative, Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), Export Development Fund, Malawi Agricultural Investment and Industrial Corporation and Lilongwe Water Board are among those from the public sector.
Commenting on the importance of the summit with regard the presence of the President, Malawi's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila said this compliments the President's ideals of wealth and job creation as ably spearheaded by his government.
"His Excellency the President remains committed to creating wealth and jobs especially for the youth hence his presence at the UK-Africa Investment summit here in London will be a great achievement. It is expected that our President will consolidate his initiatives by meeting with other global leaders on the same," the minister said.
Apart from highlighting new perspectives on UK-Africa Partnership for Prosperity, issues of Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure; Trade and Investment; Future African Growth Sectors and Clean Energy and Climate, are expected to dominate presentations and discussions during the Summit.
The Malawi delegation to the investment meeting will further showcase what the Malawi Government has done through policies and legislations to improve the investment and business climate in the country.
The UK is already a leading investor in Africa. In 2018 alone, the UK’s development finance institution CDC made investments supporting over 370,000 jobs across Africa. Since 2002 the UK’s Private Infrastructure Development Group has invested over £1.95bn in 146 infrastructure projects across Africa. The stock of UK investment in Africa is worth £39bn in 2018.
Therefore this summit will mark the beginning of a step change in the focus and effectiveness of UK-Africa partnership – a partnership which will build a better future for us all.
The Summit, which is expected to create new lasting partnerships to deliver more investment, jobs and growth to benefit people and businesses across Africa and the UK, will bring together UK and African business representatives, African leaders and delegations from across Africa, international institutions and young entrepreneurs.
International Development Secretary Alok Sharma who earlier visited some countries on the African continent ahead of the Summit said:
“Africa has eight of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world but currently receives less than 4% of foreign direct investment. There are fantastic opportunities for UK businesses to work alongside, invest in and partner with African nations.
With this Summit, the UK will demonstrate that it is the investment partner of choice for African nations, offering world-leading expertise on tech and innovation and positioning the City of London as the number one global exchange for African businesses.
In relation to UK-Malawi Trade, British High Commissioner to Malawi, Ms Holly Tett, said: “As we get Brexit done, we want a closer trading partnership with Malawi and we are helping UK businesses to seize new and exciting opportunities for investment."
"For instance," Tett added, "with support from UKAid and CDC group, among others, we are supporting businesses in various sectors like agriculture to compete at an international level and contribute to local economy through taxes and job creation in a sustainable way.
“By 2038 Malawi’s population will have doubled to 36 million people. The summit will bring together British and African businesses to harness the potential of fast-growing countries like Malawi, and make the most of trade and investment opportunities.”