Malawi Trade Ministry PS Chiunda and India High Commissioner Menon addressing the media on Malawi-India Business forum

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In a bid to unlock serious and huge investments in the energy sector, the Malawi government intends to introduce tax holidays for those vying for business ventures in the country.

The promissory bid comes amid the energy crisis that is besetting the country, particularly the unstoppable blackouts that has been paralyzing business ventures for almost a year.

The tax incentives announcement was made by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. It comes on the heels of the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) successful hosting of the first ever Malawi-India business meet on or Friday, March 17 in the capital Lilongwe.

The forum attracted over 250 business men and women drawn locally and from Indian. It focused on energy, agro-processing, irrigation, health, and manufacturing sectors.

The business meet aimed at cementing and providing an indicative opportunity for economic empowerment between local traders and their counterparts from India, to tap business management skills from each other.

The Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka Msaka, told the gathering that with the lowering of the country’s inflation rate pegged at 18.2 per cent, it was necessary for government to introduce tax incentives in the energy sector so as to attract more foreign investors into the country.

Msaka disclosed that the tax incentives will be in the form of tax holidays, duty-free on energy sector equipment, among others.

The Energy Minister added that the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is working on modalities for the implementation of the initiatives in its next national fiscal plan.

“We have made our case clear that the serious investors in the energy sector, should come in with their resources as some tax incentives are put forward for them. Huge energy investments will attract tax holidays for particular years.

“The energy sector is the backbone of economic development for any nation. This is the reason we are leaving no stone unturned so as to avert the energy crisis as we depend on hydro power to generate the much needed electricity,” Msaka said.

Echoing on the same, Joseph Mwanamveka, Trade Minister assured investors of total security when wanting to venture into business in the country.

In his remarks, Suresh Kumar Menon, Indian High Commissioner to Malawi expressed gratitude over the meeting with the launched of Indian Business Handbook that contains various businesses happening in both two nations.

Indian Commissioner Menon assured total commitment on his country to support for Indian companies to participate in its growth and development.

According to the International Trade Centre (ITC) Malawi’s exports to India rose from US$31,740,000 in 2014 to US$67, 552,000 in 2015 representing 6.3 per cent of Malawi’s exports.

On the other hand, Malawi’s import from India declined from US$243,177, 000 in 2014 to US$177, 752, 000 in 2015, leaving Malawi-India gap at –US4110, 202, 000 in 2015.