Dubai, October 23, Mana: President. Dr Lazarus Chakwera Saturday committed to opening an Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to ease challenges Malawians living in that country and to develop trade and direct investments.
He made the commitment when he met representatives of Malawians living in UAE at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai where he will be attending the Fifth Global Sustainable Technology and Innovation Community (G-STIC) Conference scheduled to take place from October 24 to 27, 2021.
“The Malawi 2063 is a road map to a country that is industrialized and self-reliant by taking advantage of the bilateral and multi-lateral relationships.
“There are a lot of gains in having an embassy in Dubai since it is becoming everyones city. We believe we need to have an embassy here and this should not be an issue, we will work on establishing one,” Chakwera said.
The President said there are many areas that Malawi could learn from Dubai which Malawians living in UAE could easily facilitate with the exposure and experience they have.
He said Malawians need to take advantage of markets outside the country like in Dubai.
“We need to move away from subsistence farming to commercial farming so that we are able to export. At the same time, we need to have proper industries to process these farm produce and to consistently satisfy the outside markets,” Chakwera said.
Chairperson of Malawians living in UAE, Lloyd Mahowe, who works as Regional Finance and Administration Manager at Gulf, Middle East and Iran said, was happy that their most pressing need which is to have an embassy was addressed.
“We are happy that the President considered our top most need to upgrade the consulate to an embassy.
“There are about 1,000 Malawians living in UAE and it receives an average of 300 others who come for tourism, business and trade,” he revealed.
Mahowe said the gained experience in the tourism and trade industry should be fully used by Malawi through deliberate initiatives that would be managed by the embassy.
“We have a lot of organic foods like rice and fruits in Malawi which is an opportunity to penetrate the Dubai market if we have leadership here in Dubai,” he said.
A Malawian business lady living in Dubai, Martha Kalanzi said there are a lot of opportunities for Malawi to develop through partnering with Dubai.
“I have a number of investors interested to come to Malawi but I do not have anywhere to take them to for direction.
“I will be coming to Malawi in November with pharmaceutical and agriculture investors and am hoping the process will be smooth and encouraging so that in no time they can be operational,” she hoped.
Among other things, Malawians living in AUE raised concerns on the bank processes in Malawi, forex accounts transactions, the process of renewing passport, high taxes on imported goods, the need to have duo citizenship and asked government to consider negotiating for minimum wage for Malawians working in UAE.