Peter Mutharika commends China-Malawi relations
Malawi President Peter Mutharika has applauded the Chinese government for playing a significant role in transforming Malawi’s socio – economic landscape.
The President made the observation Sunday night at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre during an audience with a delegation from the People’s Republic of China.
The envoy arrived earlier on Sunday for a three-day Malawi National Assembly tour.
In his remarks, Mutharika said since the establishment of diplomatic relations on December 27, 2007, China has become one of Malawi’s true and best friends.
“The two countries have been cooperating in various areas and the government of the People’s Republic of China has assisted with financing, infrastructure development, education, capacity building, defence and security, agriculture, and disaster relief and risk reduction.
“Earlier this year, Malawi experienced unprecedented flooding which resulted in 106 deaths, 172 people missing and 230,000 people displaced. Overall, up to 1.15 million people were affected by the floods. The government of China as well as the Chinese business community in Malawi came to our rescue, both in cash and kind.
“In December, 2014, China also approved funding amounting to US$500,000 for the China- Malawi-UNDP Cooperation Disaster Management and Risk Reduction project to help support poor and vulnerable communities located within Malawi’s 15 identified disaster prone districts. In the meantime, officials from Malawi and China are working with speed to make this important facility effective,” said President Mutharika.
Recently, Malawi launched the Investment Compendium, a list of investment opportunities available in Malawi and Mutharika has since invited both local and international Chinese investors to come and invest in these projects, including those in the mining sector.
He said Malawi will on 29th and 30th June, 2015, host the first-ever Malawi Investment Forum and urged Chinese nationals to take this opportunity by inviting Chinese Companies.
Said President Mutharika, “Let me take this opportunity to appreciate the support that the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in coordination with Chinese Companies such as Huawei, have rendered to the Government of Malawi, in preparation for this Forum.”
“On a multi-lateral level, Malawi is committed to the process of the Forum for the China-Africa Cooperation (Focac) and will make sure that it is well represented in the upcoming sixth Ministerial Meeting of Focac, during the last quarter of this year, in South Africa. In addition to this, I am aware of efforts by African countries to elevate this forthcoming Focac Ministerial Meeting into a Focac Summit.
“I believe that elevating the meeting into a summit will provide a greater opportunity for both Africa and China to discuss issues of mutual interest at highest level. I believe this is a welcome development and Malawi is in support of such an initiative.”
Leader of delegation for the group, who is also vice-chairperson of the standing committee of the national People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, Zhang Ping, said he was happy to see that bilateral relations between Malawi and China continued to grow.
Ping said China will continue to support Malawi in several areas including education, health, agriculture, transport, business and telecommunication.
“I have to be clear here that the fact that China is helping Malawi, my country cannot interfere with Malawi plans. The reforms which are being undertaken now are of very important to Malawi as it facilitates on how to achieve the country’s goals.”
“I am expecting that the relationship between two country’s will deepen more that what it is now,” said Ping adding that the visit to Malawi will exchange views on bilateral relationships.
Among others during their three day stay in the country, the Chinese delegation will visit parliament in Lilongwe and the construction site for the National Stadium in Area 49.
Notable projects that China has helped Malawi with include the New Parliament Building, Karonga-Chitipa Road and the Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must).
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