MID This arose out of the state of affairs then, when the development partners froze budget support to Malawi. Under this budget, every economic activity that had been exempted from taxation previously was taxed with the aim of raising revenue. During this period, Malawi saw its industrial sector scaling down and disk-investing substantially because of the unfavorable investment environment that resulted. Furthermore, Foreign Direct Investment (FED) was at its lowest.
As a desk officer responsible for industrial investment in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, I was asked to lead the team to negotiate with the Ministry of Finance to scrap off the newly introduced taxation policies which were detrimental to the industry sector in the country. The Ministry of Finance was convinced and reinstated the tax incentives that were associated with industry investment. Among the incentives reinstated were; the removal of duty on capital machinery and raw materials used in manufacturing.
Additional tax incentives were also re-introduced in order to lure new investors and maintain the existent ones. This was an important accomplishment tot Just for me personally but also for what it translated to in the country as a whole. Recreation of an investment enabling environment reduced the potential unemployment rate since a number of companies were planning major retrenchments. Big companies in Malawi such as Baksheesh and Airplay that threatened to pull out of the investment sector reversed their decisions.
Consequently, FED increased as the incentives were able to attract potential investors. For example, companies like MM (Operations) Limited and Lymphomas Sugar Company came and invested IIS$25 and IIS$80 million respectively. Products for export also became competitive on the international market and resulted in the inflow of the much needed foreign exchange currency in the country. Overall the reinstatement of the investment incentives contributed hugely to the country GAP and economic development. This was a positive achievement also for the Industry Department in the Ministry.
The Department’s main role is to promote and develop industries while sustaining the existing ones through sound policy. The design of the Zero Deficit Budget frustrated the accomplishment of this role, and would have resulted in the apartment’s low performance appraisal rating if these negotiations had fallen through. I consider this accomplishment important because of the impact it had on the economy as a whole, besides getting unprecedented commendations from my superiors. Malawi, like most developing countries suffers the cost of lacking access to trade information and the general incompetence on the subject matter.
This has led to the loss of millions of dollars in most developing countries, Malawi inclusive. In 2009 there were speculations in the international market that prices of cotton in the ND verified, Egypt, one of the leading producers of cotton, dissuaded its farmers from growing cotton in that year. The rumors were true and cotton prices were at their lowest in decades. Malawi on the other hand grew lots of cotton which eventually fetched very cheap prices. The difference between the two African countries was the effectiveness in the use of trade information.
Malawi does not have a trade information center which can be utilized for sharing trade information with the private sector. As a result, a lot of investments opportunities are compromised because of the same. A very recent example of the cost of not having access to trade information happened in 2012. An investor in the leather sector from Malawi went to buy some raw materials for his company, unknown to him was the fact that the country he was buying from was a COMES member state. The investor ended up paying duty when his products were supposed to be duty free.
If the country had a trade information center such cases could be avoided. In view of the above, my research area is to carry out “an economic analysis on the implications of lack of access to trade information on investment in Malawi”. This is in line with my career vision to become a Trade Policy Analyst. Once this research paper is done, I will be able to use it to advocate and lure Government to support the establishment of a Trade Information Center (TIC) in Malawi. I want the private sector in Malawi to be making informed decisions based on reliable trade information.
The overall objective of the trade information center will be to enhance trade information services such as business intelligence analysis, data collection and processing. These will in turn not only help to improve trade information services access by the private sector in Malawi but also help to save the industrial sector from unwanted cost. The Ministry of Industry and Trade in Malawi is a hub of all trade related economic development policies. The Ministry is involved in the implementation of all economic initiated policies in the country in order to contribute to economic growth.
With this view in mind, the role my Ministry plays in advancing the National Agenda has helped me to gain advanced experience in several cross cutting areas like: Trade and Gender, Youth and Women in Agribusiness, Integrated Rural Development, Export Diversification, formulation and analysis of policies; to mention but a few. I am uniquely placed to contribute to the class on how my participation in the mentioned areas has translated in social and economic development manifested through enhanced local production, export diversification and increased economic growth.
In the mainstream, I have been at the center of implementing three strategies which the Government of Malawi initiated in tackling the economic crisis in the country. The strategies are: Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II, National Export Strategy, and Economic Recovery Plan. It would interest classmates and lecturers alike to learn how these three tools are being utilized in addressing economic challenges. I am well experienced in negotiations with Fids as well. Unlike most countries, Malawi does not have a blanket incentives package for Fids and this is the reason I have been involved in these negotiations.
I would be excited to share my own knowledge as well as learn from colleagues about their experiences as regards the global date back to my undergraduate. For instance, during my undergraduate I was the Publicity Secretary for the Economic Association whose role was among others to roved career guidance to students who were undecided about their field of specialization. I am also very participative in class discussions, as well as research based debates. I am a team player willing to work and learn from others; and also ably handle group discussions and presentations.
I believe my active participation in and outside the classroom as well as being able to share my leadership experience and learn from others in understanding group dynamics would be a massive contribution to the institution and my country upon completing my studies. I have chosen this course because I have had a keen interest in furthering my studies specially in the field of Trade Policy since I was introduced to the discipline during my undergraduate. My passion to pursue this career has been driven by the lack of expertise in Malawi in this area and the need to cultivate it in order to improve on trade gains.
It is time for Malawi Government to work with locals specialized in this field rather than importing them. I believe given the opportunity to study for an MID in Trade and Industry Policy at one of the world’s notable academic institutions, the KID School of Public Policy and Management, a school that attracts applications from mom of the best students from all over the world would provide an environment competitive enough to bring out the best in me. I have been persuaded to pursue my career in Master of Development Policy because of the following main reasons.
Firstly, KID has a hands-on based experience in development policy and this makes your institution the right place to be trained. Secondly, the courses being offered under MID Trade and Industry Policy are very relevant. A deeper understanding of courses like International Trade, FED, Understanding World Economy and Trade System, Trade Promotion and Industrial Development etc would make a very good lateral for my goal to become a Trade Policy Analyst. Last but not least, I have been encouraged with recommendations from Kid’s Alumni in Malawi of your institution.
Kid’s theoretical and practical approach to course delivery has been highly recommended. I also believe that Kid’s promotion of internationalism through the bringing together of mid-career professionals which creates a vibrant global alumni will be crucial for my personal development. On return from my post-graduate study, I plan to continue working in the Ministry of Industry and Trade where the kills and knowledge acquired would be invaluable in addressing the skills gap that exists.
Acquiring a Masters of Development Policy in Trade and Industrial Policy would also be important for my promotion consideration as the Assistant Director of Industry. This is a managerial post in the Government and as such will give me a wide opportunity to implement well the skills gained. Hence, I believe the skills and knowledge acquired would benefit the country through the sound economic advice which I would be able to give to the government. Assistance in writing or editing this essay.