In a bid to strengthen tourism in the country, Malawi leader President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera Monday unveiled a mouth-watering $660 million tourism investment masterplan that will help map up the infrastructure development for the nation.
The project under the plan will be implemented under the Public-Private Partnership with African Development Bank.
The Malawi tourism masterplan follows the launch of the investment guild by the Tourism Ministry, which lists potential investments in the sector.
Speaking during the launch, the Malawi president said tourism plays great role in the economic development of the country.
“The Tourism sector contributes to the growth of Malawi’s economy and supports a vibrant complex value chain across numerous sectors including agriculture, trade, health, environment and transport.
“It generates foreign direct investment and significant export earnings for our country. It also stimulates and supports the development of small businesses including shops, restaurants, travel agents, tour operators and guides, buses and taxis, and the local markets” he said.
Chakwera said, because of the huge potential of this sector, his Government is making strides in creating an enabling environment for the tourism sector in Malawi to grow exponentially.
“We do so to leverage the fact that Malawi has no history of political instability and the lowest crime rates in Africa, which provide a peaceful, secure, and stable political climate for doing business.
“As a commitment to promoting foreign direct investment in the sector, my country also allows for 100 percent foreign ownership of companies. Foreign investors can invest in any sector of the economy and can wholly remit their profits, dividends, and capital. Thus foreign investors can dis-invest 100 percent from Malawi whenever they desire” Said the Malawi leader.
President Chakwera said that he was delighted to highlight that the country offers free import duty, free import excise, and VAT-free importation on selected goods such as furniture and furnishings, catering equipment, and off-road game vehicles.
“These are some of the fiscal incentives that have been deliberately put in place to promote investments in the sector – and by far the greatest asset for our tourism is the warmth of the Malawian people -because of that warmth, Malawi has often been rated as one of the most peaceful countries in Africa befitting its enduring slogan, ‘the Warm Heart of Africa.’
“Given all this, we can look forward to the tourism base and tourist attractions of Malawi becoming a force to reckon with going forward, and now we have a plan for making it happen. Let’s execute it with devotion and patriotism. Let’s speak well of our country in all the places we find ourselves because no one will desire to speak for us,” he said.
Malawi’s tourist industry is vital to the overall economy of the country and supports huge numbers of local Malawians through employment and community projects, as well as helping conserve the country’s natural riches.
The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III recognises tourism as one of the priority sectors for stimulating the country’s economic growth.
Speaking during the launch, Minister of Tourism Michael Usi promised that his Ministry will work hard to implement the plan.