By Joshua Mphanda, MEC Stringer

African Union Regional Delegate to Southern Africa Dr. Auguste Ngomo has challenged the Malawi government to remove trade barriers and tap into into its unfulfilled potential to attract maximum investments from the private Sector.

Ngomo made the remarks on Monday in Lilongwe at the joint opening ceremony of the Malawi Investment Forum and the Southern Africa Regional integration stakeholder forum on the private sector.

He bemoaned the lack of information on regional trade agreements as one of the reasons hindering growth of the private sector in the country.

“Non-tariff barriers, complex customs and trade procedures, lack of access to finance and high transportation costs among others. Because of these barriers, our private sector is not able to reach its full potential,” said Ngomo.

He also urged the private sector to invest in strategic regional programs like infrastructure and industrial projects through public private partnerships.

Echoing his words was Director of United Nation Economic Commission for Southern Africa (UNECA), Professor Said Adejumobi who in his remarks called for a conducive environment for businesses to operate.

“The conducive environment in which in which the private sector can thrive is of paramount importance for the private sector,” said Adejumobi.

The country is this week the subject of the Malawi Investment Forum 2018 and the Southern Africa Regional Integration Forum on the private sector whose major theme is “Accelerating Opportunities for Investment and Growth.”