Malawi President Joyce Banda, currently visiting the People’s Republic of China, has described China as a “true and trusted friend” during her meeting with that country’s Vice President, Li Yuanchao in Beijing on Tuesday.
She expressed gratitude and appreciation for the support that the China continues to provide to the people of Malawi “under the wise and foresighted leadership of President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang”.
During the meeting, the Chinese Veep that China would give the Malawi Government a grant of US$15 million and an ‘interest-free’ loan of US$10 million, which translate to a total of 8.5 billion Malawi Kwacha.
According to President Banda’s press aide, Tusekele Mwanyongo, the money will be earmarked for the Mudzi Transformation Trust, whose setting up the President announced recently.
“As you may be aware, the Trust’s objective is to mobilize accessible, responsive and flexible resources to support social and economic projects for the transformation of the lives of Malawians in all districts. The President has indicated that the Trust will support villages to access social and economic services that address most of their basic needs.
“When the President met the Vice President of China, she presented the Mudzi Transformation Trust concept and the requested for financial support. The Veep responded with overwhelming generosity,” said Mwanyongo.
President Banda noted that since Malawi and China established diplomatic ties in December, 2007, that relationship has continued to flourish “from strength to strength for the mutual benefit of our two peoples”.
President Banda said that her government intends to establish a strategic relationship and partnerships with China because there are a number of areas that Malawi can draw lessons from that country’s civilization and huge success story.
The Malawi leader wishes the strategic relationship and partnership to be in such key sectors as Infrastructure, Agriculture, Trade, Communication, Security, Science and technology and Mining, where China has made huge advancements and strides, according to Mwanyongo.
She said her Government will embark on a programme to aggregate mineral resources including oil and gas and monetize them. This will among other things be used as back up to guarantee repayment of Malawi’s development loans.
President Banda sought consideration of the Chinese Government to approve and fund eight priority projects, which her government has identified under the Economic Recovery Plan to turn around its economy which was on the verge collapsing when she took over the presidency of Malawi in April, 2012.
They are the implementation of E-Government; construction of a new Chileka Airport; construction of Ntcheu Turn-Off-Tsangano-Mwanza Road Project; establishment of Coal Fired Power Plant; redesigning and upgrading of electricity transmission system; construction of Mangochi Airport; expansion and modernization of the Kamuzu International Airport to multi-terminal level and international standards; and construction of Mangochi-Makanjira Road Project.
President Banda is currently in the city of Kunming in Yunnan Province where she is scheduled to attend the official opening of the ‘China-South Asia Expo’, one the largest trade exhibitions in that part of the world, on June 6, 2013. She is the only African Head of State invited to the Expo.
On Wednesday, she held high-level meetings with Governor of the Yunnan Povince in China, Li Jiheng who led a delegation of ‘Key Leaders of Yunnan Province at Haigen Garden and the Chinese Vice Premier, Vice Premier Ma Kai.
Ma said both Malawi and China have consolidated mutual trust, carried out fruitful cooperation and increased people-to-people contact, adding that China is ready to work with Malawi to boost bilateral relations.
President Banda said Malawi welcomes more Chinese companies to invest in Malawi and participate in its economic recovery.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :