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Working in Lilongwe

Find out how to get a job and work in Lilongwe

The development of Lilongwe’s local economy relies heavily on agriculture and is export-oriented. Tobacco, coffee, tea and rare minerals especially are exported all around the globe. If you’re thinking about working in Lilongwe, check out our Relocation Guide for more information.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats, we understand what you need, and offer the the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us today to jump start your move, and begin the preparations with our free relocation checklist.

Employment in Lilongwe

Job Hunting in Lilongwe

The methods for finding work in Lilongwe are similar to finding work anywhere; however, voluntary work is often a stepping stone for something permanent: volunteers are often prioritized when a job vacancy becomes available. Local newspapers are an obvious source of employment opportunities and provide the details of local employers and major recruiters. Recruitment agencies also offer a plethora of short-term and long-term contracts, and are often a useful source of employment information. If you are an expatriate willing to accept short term contracts you can build a portfolio of experience that could stand you in good stead for future employment.

Local Economy in Lilongwe

Although Malawi’s commercial capital is Blantyre, Lilongwe is dominated by the government and public institutions. In Lilongwe, poverty stands at 25% and there is an unemployment level of 16%. 

Many of those that are employed make up a large percentage of those who are part of the tobacco industry. The tobacco crop is the most important export for Malawi, and it accounts for approximately 70% of all export revenues. Agriculture represents slightly 40% of the GDP, accounts for over 80% of the labor force and represents about 80% of all of the country’s exports.

As well as tobacco, other exported goods include coffee, tea, sugar, uranium, cotton, nuts, and rare minerals. It was estimated that in 2013 the total income from exporting goods was 1.427 billion USD — and of course, Lilongwe plays a major part in this.

Taxation in Lilongwe

The taxation system in Lilongwe follows that dictated by the country. Records for 2013 show the taxation figures for Lilongwe, Malawi were as follows:

  • Corporate income tax has a 30% statutory tax rate (35% for branches of foreign companies)
  • Pension contributions have a much smaller amount of statutory tax rate at just 7.5%, classified as the gross salaries tax base
  • Value added tax (VAT) is held at a 16.5% statutory tax rate
  • Employee paid pension contributions have a statutory tax rate of just 5%.

Income taxes are collected on earnings with source in Malawi. The PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system applies to residents’ earnings with rates ranging from 0% to 30%; expats can sometimes be eligible for a non-resident tax (15%).

There are a number of other taxes, such as stamp duty at 0.95% and road tax, which varies in price, depending on what vehicle it is being applied to and personal details, for example. 

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: August 19, 2015
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