By Leah Malimbasa MANA
Ministry of Trade and Industry says the €100million investment for a new production plant Castel Malawi is planning in Lilongwe means increased job opportunities and taxes to government.
Minister of Trade and Industry Simplex Chithyola Banda made the remarks when the Castel Malawi team paid him a courtesy call in Lilongwe where the two parties discussed challenges the brewery giant is facing.
“Government is creating a conducive environment by coming up with legal and regulatory framework that doesn’t impinge on investors. We will not be happy to see industries closing down because of lack of incentives and poor legal and regulatory framework but we want them to thrive,” he said.
Chithyola said a thriving industry means more tax returns for government to enable it deliver social and economic development.
Castel Malawi Managing Director Thomas Reynaud said apart from investing in a new production plant the group is also currently developing a beer derived from 100 percent sorghum which will be sourced from local farmers on contract basis as well as smallholders farmers.
“Instead of malt which is imported, sorghum will be sourced locally and therefore save Forex and empower farmers economically. The company will need about 500 tons of sorghum a month and if this goes to plan we will double our sales and hence taxes payable to government,” he said.
Reynaud asked government for assistance in acquiring land along Lumbadzi-Airport Road, creation of a new excise tax category for sorghum beer and tax incentives among others.