Malawi, an agricultural nation in full transition
Malawi is an agricultural state par excellence. 80% of the population lives in rural areas and agriculture accounts for a third of the GDP and 90% of the export income. For over a long time, Malawi was known for having the most tobacco-dependent economy. With the collapse of world prices in this sector, the Malawian economy was hit hard. Diversification and innovation in the agricultural sector, which is desperately needed, is only starting slowly. Climate change is also a major challenge, in recent years droughts and floods have followed on each other.
The business world is one with a limited number of large companies (active in agricultural processing, trading and retail) and a very large number of micro-companies. Medium-sized companies are virtually absent. After all, the current business climate does not sufficiently support the growth from small businesses to medium-sized businesses.
Nevertheless, Malawi is a country in full evolution with an emerging service sector (65% of GNP) and growing industrialization. Moreover, the country has a special relationship with Belgium and Flanders in particular. 19.1% of the total Malawian export ends up in Flanders.