By Cyprian Ndau
BLANTYRE, Malawi, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Former British prime minister Tony Blair who arrived Thursday in Malawi for a two-day visit has pledged to link European investors to Malawi as a way of ensuring a vibrant economy for the southern African developing country.
Blair made the pledge at a press briefing on Friday in Malawi's commercial city of Blantyre after he had held roundtable talks with the country's private sector and Trade and Industry Ministry officials.
He said that like most countries in Africa, Malawi has the potential to prosper because the country has resources and that the country only requires a vibrant private sector to explore the resources.
He said he would woo European investors to come and invest in the country thereby strengthening Malawi's private sector and opening the country further to international trade.
"There are so many potential areas that Malawi can explore such as mining and energy, tourism and agriculture but what the country needs is investment," he said.
The former British prime minister urged Malawi's private sector and government to get the country's economy back on track, saying "a health working relationship between the private sector and government is the backbone of any economy."
Malawi Trade and Industry Minister John Bande described Blair's visit as very crucial, saying Malawi continues to enjoy international exposure.
"Apart from putting Malawi on the map, Mr. Blair's coming gives the local entrepreneurs an opportunity to link with their European counterparts thereby strengthening our private sector," said Bande.
On Thursday, Blair met Malawi President Joyce Banda at her state residence in the city where the two held talks on governance and the country's economic recovery, according to local media reports. He left Malawi on Friday
The former British prime minister heads the Africa Governance Initiative, a program aimed at ensuring sound governance and vibrant investment in Africa.