Business, Trade, Investment and Tourism Roundtable

UK time 13:00 Malawi time 15:00

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Over 50 SMP members, government of Malawi representatives and business leaders joined the Business, Trade, Investment and Tourism Roundtable, co-hosted by the SMP and Power Global Media, on Thursday 3rd November 2022.


  1. Create a space for each of the three new Attaches in the Malawi High Commission (Business, Investment and Tourism) to introduce themselves, present their priorities, and build contacts.
  2. Raise awareness of, build support for, and discuss priorities for, the forthcoming Malawi-UK Chamber of Commerce, which is rising out of the existing Malawi-UK Business Group and which will be formally launched in London on 9th November.
  3. Share information about current Scotland-Malawi Business, Trade, Investment activities, to facilitate networking, collaborations and collective effort.
  4. Explore blockers in Scotland-UK business, trade, investment and tourism, and connect with the UK and Malawi governments to discuss possible practical and policy actions which could be taken by government to helpfully mitigate these challenges
  5. Give a platform for Moto Money and others to share information about new products and services which can help facilitate Scotland-Malawi trade and capital flows.

Please contact the SMP if you would like the contact details of anyone involved in the meeting: we are keen to connect stakeholders up to support networking and future collaborations.

Key summary points

David Hope-Jones, CEO of the SMP, introduced the meeting, set-out the objectives and welcomed attendees.

Graham Kenala, CEO Power Global Media and co-host of the event
, welcomed attendees and introduced the context and the work of Power Global.

Section 1: Listening to the Malawi High Commission:

Deputy Malawi High Commissioner to the UK, Justice Agnes Patemba
, spoke of the historic and contemporary friendship between Scotland and Malawi. She outlined the importance of business, trade, investment and tourism within the Government of Malawi’s overarching ‘Vision 2063’ and its first ‘Ten Year Implementation Plan’, encouraging stakeholders to work within these.

Tourism Attaché, Dyson A.M. Banda, spoke about Malawi as a leading tourist destination and the importance of working within the Government of Malawi’s Malawi Tourism Masterplan. He was keen to explore new ways of sharing tourism expertise between Scotland and Malawi, and he encouraged Scots visiting Malawi as part of a partnership/project to add on extra time to travel more widely. He spoke of the importance of key attractions and national monuments, and raised the idea of adoption of sites for their preservation.

Trade Attaché, Shakira Phiri
, presented a number of Malawian exports, currently available in the UK, praising the work of SMP members such as JTS who import Kilombero Rice. She talked of the need to expand markets and find new distributors who can take these products, flagging the March 2023 ‘Buy Malawi Strategy Month’ which she was keen to work with Scotland on. Shakira identified as a challenge the lack of access to affordable finance for producers and encouraged new conversations about soft loans. She would also welcome new Scotland-Malawi exchange programmes and training, especially between SMEs, for two-way learning. A particular challenge, and priority, for Malawi is having the requisite capacity to adhere to all relevant quality standards. Shakira welcomed the SMP’s advocacy work with the UK Government, pushing for an updated Malawi-UK Double Taxation Treaty: this is a priority for the Government of Malawi. She also outlined Malawi’s desire to develop new ‘mega farms’: Malawi has the land and is keen to offer support to make this happen.

Investment Attache, Violet Rebecca Leany
, spoke of the many excellent investment opportunities in Malawi, as a peaceful and secure nation, with strong support from the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC). She restated the importance of ‘mega farms’ in Malawi and the Government of Malawi’s commitment to support agricultural investments, with zero rated corporation tax for up to ten years available. Violet also spoke of the importance of investment in the energy sector in Malawi, especially for manufacturing. The war in Ukraine has significantly disrupted fertilizer access in Malawi, so the government is keen to encourage investment into fertilizer production facilities within Malawi.

Malawian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, HE Dr. Mwayiwawo Polepole, spoke of his own personal links to Scotland and gave a powerful case study of youth innovation in business and trade. Two young Malawians, Moses and Anton, have developed a new Content Management System to raise awareness of Malawian exports globally and have developed innovative new product lines from Malawi using sweet potato flour.

Section 2: Upcoming Malawi-UK Chamber of Commerce:

David Hope-Jones gave a quick brief on the Malawi-UK Business Group which is in the process of becoming a full Malawi-UK Chamber of Commerce, inviting input from attendees about what would be most useful for a Chamber of Commerce to prioritise. Input included:

  • Improving customs processes to ensure the relevant authorities are aware of Malawi goods.
  • Having thematic clusters for detailed, meaningful work.Section 3: Banking and Money transfer services

Standard Bank, Joshua Banda, outlined the bank’s new diaspora offerings. Malawians resident in the UK can now easily and quickly open bank accounts in Malawi for working capital finance, making it easier to invest. The process is very simple, with just a passport required. Preferential interest rates are available with the bureau of change.

Moto Money co-founder, Sumayyah Patel
, presented the new B2B cash transfer services available from Moto Money. This is a quick, intuitive and easy to use app-based system, which can offer excellent rates. The SMP has been working with Moto Money in the development of this product

Section 4: Open discussion:

There was a final time for Q&A and discussion before David Hope-Jones summarised the key points from the meeting.