In purely economic terms, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with over half of its 16 million population living below the poverty line (less then £1/day PPP).
While improvements in basic services such as health and education are clearly required, for any such developments to be sustained there is an urgent need for Malawi to grow and diversify its economy to create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.
The current Government of Malawi has identified private sector-led growth as the main engine of economic reform and development. Promotion of the private sector and policies targeted at the creation and expansion of livelihoods and small businesses are acknowledged as central in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II, particularly the objectives of accelerating the process of wealth generation and redistribution and of wider participation by disadvantaged groups in economic activities.
The strong historical links between our two nations mean that people from all walks of life and all sectors (private, public and civil society) have a keen interest in supporting the development of the Malawian economy, in particular towards enabling the rural population to build strong and resilient communities.
Supporting Malawian products
The SMP is active in promoting Malawian exports available in Scotland and, for example, has been successful in increasing Malawi coffee sales in Scotland by 83% in the past 12 months.
Click here for a list of Malawian products you can buy.
We encourage everyone in Scotland to think about how they can support the Malawian economy by buying Malawian, investing in Malawi or visiting Malawi. Click here to find out how!
Many Scottish organisations are supporting sustainable economic development in Malawi, both directly and indirectly. As a result the SMP hosts a forum on Business, Investment, Trade and Tourism (BITT). The BITT forum meets quarterly with aim of: bringing people together to share knowledge and ideas, and explore opportunities for partnership and collaboration. In line with the priorities of Malawi the forum covers four main areas: agriculture and trade; tourism; renewable energy; and extractive industries.