Malawi and South Africa are expected to finalise a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the avoidance of Double Taxation Treaty Agreement which has been partly blamed for squeezing revenues for Malawi.
The two countries are expected to hold the 3rd session of a Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) which will be held in Lilongwe from 6 to 7 next month where South Africa will be represented by its Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
Other agreements that are expected to be finalised during the meeting are on economic cooperation, tourism, agriculture, labour, bilateral air services agreement and mutual assistance on customs matters.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda told the press in Lilongwe yesterday that, at the meeting, Malawi and South Africa are also expected to review progress made in the implementation of the decisions, programmes and commitments agreed at the 2nd Session of a similar meeting that took place in Pretoria, South Africa, in September 2012.
“The two countries are expected to consider agreeing on new areas of cooperation, in order to enhance and deepen the existing mutually beneficial partnership between Malawi and South Africa.
“Under this framework, the two governments concluded an agreement on cooperation on health that facilitates referral of patients from Malawi to South African hospitals,” said Chaponda.
Anti-poverty organisation, ActionAid International, continues pushing for the abolition of the Double Taxation Treaty Agreements, arguing poor countries like Malawi are not benefiting since they do not have significant enterprises in their partner countries.
Chaponda said considering that cooperation between Malawi and South Africa goes beyond government to government, there has been a lot of private sector interaction as well as people to people cooperation, as a lot of Malawians are living in South Africa and vice versa.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation requests the private sector and the general public to pass on any issues that we may convey to the Government of South Africa at this meeting,” he said.
The JCC provides a platform for cooperation between Malawi and South Africa in areas of diplomacy, socio-economic development, defence and security, among others.
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