Members of the local business community have expressed interest to ful ly t ake advantage of investment and trade opportunities offered by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's African Governance Initiative (AGI).
Blair, who is founder of AGI, is reported to have offered himself to act as a business link between Europe and the private sector in Malawi.
Press Corporation Limited (PCL) Chairman Dean Lungu said the interest by Blair to meet the local business sector has boosted confidence among the business community in the country, saying the meeting signified that there is more the country can offer to the world.
"The whole meeting was to consolidate the dialogue between government and the private sector and we will have to take advantage of this initiative," said Lungu.
Mikes Trading Group Managing Director Mike Chilewe said Blair's visit shows that the British are ready to open up to Africa and Malawi in particular.
He said what Malawians need to do now is to seize each and every opportunity which the AGI is offering.
"What he [Blair] is saying is that he wants to establish a business connection between Malawian and Britain. He thinks Malawi can achieve more under the current leadership. Malawi must seize the opportunity to identify investment growth here and products that can be exported to such markets," said Chilewe.
MCCCI President Matthews Chikankheni said the country must be focussed and learn to sustain economic growth.
He said after experiencing high growth figures of between 6 and 8 percent between 2006 and 2010, the country should have by now started showing signs of prosperity.
"Maintaining that rate of growth failed because of politically related governance problems. Had we sustained that growth rate, we could by now have been getting closer to graduation to a middle income country. But this is not the case," said Chikankheni.
However, Chikankheni was optimistic that the coming in of a helping hand in Blair's AGI would be of great significance since financial access remains a big challenge for Malawi and the continent in general.
"We discussed issues like access to finance and markets. But the most important thing we have noted is that we shouldn't just be discussing these issues but move into action. We are actually looking at how best to improve our agricultural products like processing them and exporting," said Chikankheni.
Minister of Industry and Trade John Bande said it is good that Malawi continues to receive high profile personalities, saying that would help the country build international partnerships.
"Government will maximise on the global attention on Malawi to generate more economic growth avenues through business activities will facilitate wide job creation in the country," said Bande.
"Not long ago, we had the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. Now its Tony Blair. All this is happening under the new leadership of Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda. This is good because we know such visits will help our private sector to realise business and investments opportunities," said Bande.
The meeting at MCCCI attracted participation of around 50 local businesspersons and senior government officials.