As investment opportunities continue to unveil themselves in Malawi despite the Covid–19 pandemic, cannabis has also darted onto the scene promising to change the country’s social and economic prospects.
The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) is currently inviting investors to explore opportunities in production and processing of medicinal and industrial cannabis by obtaining a license from the country’s Cannabis Regulatory Authority.
Foreign investors are requested to contact MITC for them to enjoy One Stop Services on business registration, business permits, access to land and other business support services.
Industrial and medical cannabis are a variety of cannabis with low concentration of the Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC) of less than 1% compared to 7 – 25% in Cannabis Sativa. With the low levels of THC, the crop has less psychoactive properties.
According to MITC, cultivation and processing of medicinal cannabis was legalized in Malawi in 2020 after extensive research and establishing its strategic importance to the economy.
“The crop, which is being promoted in over 36 countries worldwide, is a momentous opportunity because of its potential to open up numerous value chains and create employment opportunities.
“A wide variety of products can be produced from Industrial and Medicinal Cannabis such as organic body-care products, foods, textiles (clothing and ropes), paper, building materials, biofuels, plastic composites, pharmaceutical products and many more,” says a statement by MITC.
The market for industrial cannabis is estimated to reach US$9 billion in 2021 and US$30 billion by 2030 while the market size of medicinal cannabis is at US$30 million and expected to grow to US$90 billion by 2030.
Malawi President, Dr. Lazarous Chakwera last January launched the Malawi Vision 2063, a development blueprint to turn the country into an industrialised upper middle class country by 2063.
“To see this vision materialize, we are actively inviting private investors into the three areas of agriculture productivity and commercialisation, industrialisation and urbanization,” he said during the launch calling of foreign direct investors to join the country’s wealth creation drive.
Currently, the MITC has developed a compendium that highlights some of the available transformational investment opportunities in Malawi. It covers projects from various sectors including energy, agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, mining, and water
Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe, says Malawi is ready to be part of the Continental Free Trade Area and global economic integration and it regards growth in investment as a strategy for attaining this goal.
“To do this we require investments that can play a role in the regional and global value chains,” he says.
Malawi is mainly at the foundational stage in the global value chain where it normally supplies raw materials. Government has put in place policies aimed at growing the manufacturing sector and these include the National Industrialization Policy, National Export Strategy and Energy Policy.
The country’s export commodity basket is concentrated with agricultural commodities which continue experiencing unfavorable terms of trade.
However, there is need to diversify the country’s exports to include value added non-agricultural commodities so that it achieves its job creation and export diversification goals. To achieve this, the government introduced incentives for the sector including loss carry forward for six years, 100 percent capital allowance on new and unused plant and machinery and industrial building and a 40 percent capital allowance on used plant and machinery and industrial building.
Malawi, also known as the Warm Heart of Africa boasts of beautiful landscapes, variety of wildlife and a rich and diverse culture that make this small country the ideal place to invest in.
There are plenty of rewarding investments waiting to be explored in Malawi including ecotourism, construction of hotels, lodges and cottage, conference facilities and water-based sports facilities.
Tourism was identified as a key driver for sustainable economic growth and development in the country, and offers attractive investment incentives. Investors in the tourism sector are eligible for exemption of various import duty and import excise duty on various goods at construction and operational stage.