AHL CHAIRMAN’S SPEECH AT AHCX GRAND LAUNCH 17TH OCTOBER 2013
SPEECH DELIVERED BY CHAIRMAN DR.JERRY JANA OF AUCTION HOLDINGS LIMITED AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF AHL COMMODITIES EXCHANGE ON 17TH OCTOBER, 2013
Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Malawi, Chairperson of SADC Dr. Joyce Banda.
Your Excellency, the Chief Justice Richard Banda SC (Retired)
Rt. Hon Khumbo Hastings Kachali, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi
The Chief Secretary to the Government Mrs. Hawa O. Ndilowe
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Sosten Gwengwe (MP)
The Minister of Agriculture, and Food Security Dr. James Munthali
Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, here present
Honourable Members of Parliament here present
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Board of Directors of Auction Holdings Limited
Hon. Edwin Bagwanji, Member of Parliament for this area.
The Chairman of AHL Commodities Exchange Limited, Dr Evans Matabwa and Board of Directors of the Exchange
The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi Mr. Charles Chuka
Chief Executives and Managing Directors of various Institutions present here.
The Chief Executive Officer Lilongwe City Council, Mr. Richard Hara.
The District Commissioner for Lilongwe Dr. Felix Mkandawire
All protocols observed.
On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Auction Holdings Limited, I would like to welcome you to AHL Commodities Exchange, which is a Subsidiary Company of Auction Holdings Limited.
That Your Excellency accepted our invitation to grace this occasion, marking the official commissioning of the AHL Commodities Exchange cannot be taken for granted. We deeply appreciate that Your Excellency could spare time from your very busy schedule to honour us with your presence and to perform this task.
The modern facility which Your Excellency has commissioned this morning is a Trading House for all Agricultural Commodities other than tobacco which is traded through the Auction Floors.
Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Auction Holdings Limited decided to invest in the establishment of this competitive, transparent and organized market for all Agricultural Crops in Malawi, just like it has successfully done with tobacco for close to eighty years now.
Markets are an important component in Agribusiness. We believe the success story of tobacco is partly due to the well structured market for this crop. With this background, we are convinced that the establishment of the AHL Agricultural Commodities Exchange will open all avenues for producing crops at a commercial scale. It is a fact that most of our farmers have at one time or another been discouraged to grow some crops because of uncertainties relating to finding markets for their products, let alone markets which offer them a fair price for their products.
With a properly structured market of this standard, Malawian farmers will be able to produce and trade huge quantities of good quality commodities with the rest of the world. This will bring substantial gains into the country’s economy, by creating opportunities in value addition, employment generation, property development and exponential growth in financial services and transportation just to mention a few. The collective diversified effort will also translate into a widening of the export base for Malawi and makes possible the realization of the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) which is pivotal to the success of Your Excellency’s vision for growth and wealth creation in the national development agenda.
Your Excellency, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am also pleased to mention that the trading system at our Commodities Exchange allows the farmers, sellers and merchants to have first hand information on prevailing prices and therefore it affords them an informed opportunity and an ability to value their commodities at any point in time and enables them to bargain for better prices which makes the AHL Commodities Exchange, a unique trading platform for Malawi. I wish to report Your Excellency that already trading of commodities such as soya beans and even maize has taken place and we are very satisfied with the response.
In order to promote the visibility of Malawian Commodities beyond the restrictive trading boundaries hither to offered by the conventional trading facilities, we are already collaborating with a number of organisations operating similar facilities in other countries.
Your Excellency, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to inform you that Auction Holdings Limited has so far spent about Ten Million Dollars during the past three years to put this facility together. The total project value is estimated to reach Fifteen Million Dollars when the Exchange will roll out its own purpose built warehousing facilities to support trading.
With this level of investment, we would like to take this opportunity to appeal for accelerated government efforts in finalizing the appropriate legislation and regulatory framework to ensure adherence to good practice in this kind of business operation.
Your Excellency, as stated above, the AHL Commodities Exchange concept aligns itself very well with your vision in the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) and the National Export Strategy (NES), and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Your Excellency for your foresight in championing these programmes. If properly nurtured with a commitment to collective ownership, these programmes will certainly lead to the transformation of the economy.
As Auction Holdings Limited, we are proud to contribute to the National Development Agenda through our various strategic diversification programmes as evidenced by establishment of the Commodities Exchange among others.
We would like to assure Your Excellency and the Malawi Nation that our Company, Auction Holdings Limited will continue to unveil strategic business models that focus on long-term and sustainable economic gains for Malawi.
In closing, allow me to once again thank Your Excellency for presiding over this historic occasion, the inauguration of the State-of-the-art Agricultural Commodities Exchange.
Finally, we have prepared a small gift in the form of two tones of Legume Seed (sugar beans and soya beans) valued at K1.2 million to be donated to the Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction in Malawi. This gift will be delivered to the State House soon after the function.
Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your attention.