Castel Malawi on Thursday evening introduced their new Managing Director Thomas Reynaud to government officials including members of Parliament in Lilongwe.
Reynaud has replaced Herve’ Milhade who has been assigned to BGI, a Castel subsidiary in Ethiopia.
Reynaud said he was happy to serve the company in Malawi and stressed that he wants to improve the relationship between his company, the Malawi government, and other stakeholders.
“We are going through a lot of problems right now in terms of access to forex to enable us to buy raw materials for our products, but we are encouraging local sourcing of raw materials and encouraging agribusiness to grow and support the local economy so that we use local raw materials in these hard times.”
“We are here to grow the business by introducing new brands and building the state-of-the-art brewing plant here in Lilongwe. We want to maintain good relations with the government authorities and other stakeholders like customers, distributors, suppliers, and trade associations,” said Reynaud.
He hailed the Malawi government for reducing the alcohol excise tax regime which was considered as the highest in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region and led to high production costs for the company.
Castel Malawi Corporate Affairs Director Gloria Zimba also hailed partners and stakeholders who helped to lobby for the reduction of the excise tax regime.
“We want to thank various stakeholders who assisted in lobbying for change of the alcohol excise tax regime for clear beer from 90% then 60% and now 40%. For opaque beer the excise tax was reduced from 40%, to 30% to further 10%. We must commend the Malawi government for this bold step which aligned Malawi to the SADC region on the excise tax regimes for opaque and clear beer,” said Zimba.
She further noted that the change has brought in many positive benefits to Castel Malawi like maintaining affordable retails prices for local products, growth of production volumes which has in turn tripled sales contributing to government revenue through taxes.
Speaking at the event, Chairperson for Budget and Finance Committee of parliament Gladys Ganda welcomed Reynaud and pledged the committees’ support in lobbying the government on forex allocation for business sustenance, continuity and further growth .
“We know that you employ a lot of Malawians, and you need forex for your production. We are here to offer our assistance in lobbying for support because we cannot let you close down,” said Ganda.