A day-long China-Malawi Business Forum has been held in Lilongwe organized by Standard Bank in partnership with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malawi with the aim of strengthening and deepening business relations between the two countries.
Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mashanda said the forum gives the bank a platform to showcase its expertise in handling business and investments involving the two countries.
Mashanda said Standard Bank’s expertise on China is backed by the synergy and deep pool of resources the bank taps from its global network that includes Asia where Standard Bank is represented in Shanghai and Beijing through its partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The ICBC holds 20 percent of the Standard Bank Group.
“As a global leader in commodity-related financial services, Standard Bank is well-positioned to realize significant opportunities for our clients in this market. We consider ourselves as the “Chinese experts” because of the synergy and deep pool of expertise we tap from our global network that includes Asia,” he said.
He said Standard Bank is committed to move Malawi-China business forward through its innovative products and services.
The forum has attracted speakers from Reserve Bank of Malawi, Ministry of Trade & Industry, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC), Chinese Embassy and Standard Bank.
Malawi-China trade date back to 2008 when the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering industry, trade and investment.
Under the agreement China made a commitment to help in increasing the productive capacity of Malawi in tobacco, cotton, mining, forestry, fertilizer production and in processing hides and skins, among others. In turn, Malawian exports enjoy preferential access to China’s markets, which in turn provides incentives to Chinese businesses investing in Malawi.
The forum is an indicator of the strength of China’s Africa business strategy at a time the West is gradually losing its grip on the continent with its antagonistic and controversial aid policies. President Arthur Peter Mutharika has warmed up to China for the support the Eastern power is giving to Malawi.
China is behind major infrastructure projects in Malawi such as roads, universities, hotels and a modern Parliament building for the country.
A Chinese state-of-the art stadium, expected to become the new home of the Flames has stood up in Lilongwe in Area 47 while a new airport by China is on the cards at Chileka, where the current airport stands in disrepair.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :