Malawi is set to benefit from a new growth gateway tool aimed at strengthening the United Kingdom (UK) and African business relationships, following a record £2.3 billion (about $3.1 billion or K2.5 trillion) support from the UK Export Finance.
This came out during the UK-Africa Investment Conference held recently with a focus on sustainable investment to support the continent’s transition to clean growth.
A press release issued by the British High Commission in Lilongwe indicates that the conference aimed to boost economic cooperation between that country and African nations and enhance its role as the continent’s investment partner of choice for greener, climate-friendly projects.
It says announcements at the conference were well aligned with on-going UK business interests in supporting Malawi’s renewable energy sector such as the recently launched 40 megawatts JCM solar plant in Salima.
“To enhance UK-Africa partnerships, the UK launched a new Growth Gateway —a digital tool to link African and British businesses to UK Government trade, finance and investment services and opportunities.
“The service provides practical online support to businesses in Africa that want to export to and invest in the UK, and businesses in the UK that want to export to and invest in Africa, backed up by a team of trade and investment specialists.
“New Initiatives like the Growth Gateway should help promote greater UK trade and investment opportunities into Malawi, as well as enhancing the significant investments that the newly rebranded British Investment International (formerly CDC) has already made in the agriculture sector including Tropha (macadamia) and Kelfoods (poultry),” the release reads.
In an interview, Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) Public Relations Manager Deliby Chimbalu said the conference was a great opportunity as it offered financing opportunities to African businesses including those from Malawi.
“Our friends from the UK, through their Department for International Trade, have what they call an Investment Deal Room—a platform that aims to provide an online deal matching service to bridge the gap between UK corporates and investment opportunities across the African continent.
“So, as MITC, we are encouraging project promoters to utilise this platform for us to benefit from these financing opportunities. What is required now is for those that have projects that are bankable to submit proposals through this platform for possible funding, provided that they meet the requirements,” Chimbalu said.