The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has forecasted that the business environment will be challenging in 2020 due to among others lack of urgency by government in the implementation of business reforms.
MCCCI president Prince Kapondamgaga and chief executive Chancellor Kaferapanjira said this in its assessment of the business environment in 2019.
MCCCI has cited challenges such as electricity supply shortages, high cost of finance, excessive government borrowing, extremely high levels of corruption and high cost of telecommunication services as requiring swift reforms.
The private sector think tank has faulted the government for lacking seriousness in increasing electricity generation.
“It was expected that EGENCO and other Independent Power Producers (IPPs) would measure up to the expectations thus far, that has not happened,” reads the statement in part.
MCCCI said the challenge is crippling the manufacturing sector.
“Yet manufacturing is the backbone of any industrialization, the major source of well-paying jobs in any economy, the source of high value export orientation and the most importatnt source of spillovers to the rest of the economy,” reads the statement in part.
On interest rates, MCCCI has expressed concern over high commercial lending rates.
“The interest spread between lending and saving rates has remained stubbornly high,” the statement reads.
According to MCCCI, government debt levels have continued to increase at alarming levels.
“Public debt stock has been rising since the first quarter of 2018 and reached its highest level in the fourth quarter at K3.3 trillion from K3.1 trillion,” reads the statement.
According to MCCCI, domestic debt has also been increasing and reached K1.7 trillion at the end of 2018.