FDI in Malawi

After dropping abruptly in 2009/2010, FDI flows to Malawi have increased significantly but remain below the country’s potential. FDI flows reached USD 326 million in 2016, which represents a 13% increase compared to the previous year. The country’s total FDI stock is estimated to stand at USD 1.15 billion (or 21% of GDP).

Malawi is eager to receive foreign investment and foreign investors are generally granted national treatment. The Malawian constitution protects investment irrespective of nationality. While not discriminatory to foreign investors, investments in Malawi require some processes, which may include obtaining a business license, a tax registration number, and a land use permit.

The agricultural sector attracts the most FDI, primarily from South Africa, Germany and the United States. The exploration of rare earth elements near Lake Malawi could attract new investments in the mining sector. There is also hope that an oil field would be discovered in the region.
The Government makes efforts to attract private investors as shown by the planned reform of the public company Electricity Supply Corporation, as well as the road project funded by the African Development Bank, which will join Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Apart from minerals, Malawi also opened investment opportunities in agro-processing, manufacturing and tourism.
Malawi ranks 110th out of 190 countries in the 2018 Doing Business report published by the World Bank, up by 23 positions compared to 2017.