Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has commended the downturn of inflation by 9.3 percent as a significant step in boosting the country’s economy.
MCCCI’s Chief Operations Officer, Chimwemwe Luhanga said this is a positive development as there are business opportunities the country would benefit from.
He said such kind of environment is paramount in attracting foreign investments whereby it is important for the government to enhance businesses activities by engaging the private sector.
Luhanga added that there is need for persistent coordinated efforts by the government and the private sector in providing an environment where businesses can flourish in the country to reduce the inflation even further.
However, Luhanga bemoaned that the downturn of the inflation rate has, so far, not translated into the buying power where consumers can greatly profit from it.
He said, for instance, maize has been selling as low as K50 per kilogram, a condition which has denied the consumers or farmers access to income.
“It is true that inflation has gone down largely because Malawi had a bumper harvest in the year which has translated into lowering inflation but that has not contributed into the buying power of the consumers simply because the majority of farmers have not been able to sell their farm produce at competitive prices,” he said.
Therefore, Luhanga said MCCCI is lobbying for producers, especially in the agriculture sector, to be allowed to explore markets everywhere as one way of enhancing economic activities which can ease the challenge of the buying power.
While welcoming governments’ efforts of ensuring that it reserves maize in its silos, Luhanga said if Malawians were allowed to export maize, they could earn more.
“For example, maize is fetching very good prices in Tanzania, Kenya and East Africa.
“If Malawians were allowed to export to such destinations they could have earned more thereby improving the buying power apart from lowering the inflation,” he said.
According to reports, inflation rate in Malawi was recorded at 9.30 percent in August 2017 and its average percent was 15.22 from 2001.
It reached an all-time high of 37.90 in February 2013 and recorded the lowest percent of 6.30 in December 2010.