Malawi President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika met his Chinese counter-part President Xi Jinping on Saturday September 1 2018 during which Mutharika asked for deeper co-operation between the two countries and lobbied for more development projects for the southern African nation.
The two leaders met at the Great Hall of People in Beijing.
President Mutharika told the leader of the world’s second biggest economy that the relationship between the two countries has been beneficial to both sides and that there is also space for more co-operation in areas such as trade, education and agriculture.
‘‘Malawi appreciates the assistance it has received from China during these foundational years of our relationship. However, I
think the best way to assist us to move from poverty quickly is for China to open up its huge Chinese market for Malawian products and commodities,’’ said Mutharika.
China has a market population of 1.3 people billion as per its 2016 Population Census.
Mutharika said having firmly established the diplomatic relationship between the two countries, it was also about time for a deeper and closer people to people collaboration between China and Malawi.
President Mutharika said Malawi has embarked on an ambitious skills development programme to equip its people especially the youths with various relevant skills adding that China is a friend to count on in this aspect.
‘‘We aim to equip thousands of youths with technical vocational skills because we realise that no country can develop without vocational and technical skills. Your government’s assistance in skills development in areas such as ICT and other digital technologies is very welcome,” Mutharika added.
In response, President Xi assured President Mutharika that China is willing and ready to offer a helping hand to assist Malawi walk faster on the path to prosperity.
‘‘China will continue to treat Malawi as a mutual friend,” Xi said.
Chinese leader also mentioned that mentioned that he has asked authorities in Beijing to make a sustainable project the 300 megawatt Kammwamba Coal–Fired Power Plant in Neno.
The project, with a 30-year lifespan, is expected to be implemented under the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) model, which is a particular form of contracting arrangement used in big projects where the contractor is responsible for all the activities, from designing, procurement construction to commissioning and handover of the project.
President Mutharika also expressed optimism that “power outages that we have can be greatly reduced, if the coal-powered plant becomes operation.”
Energy China Engineering Group, a company sub-contracted to work on the Kammwamba Coal–Fired Power Plant has since said it will work with speed to ensure that the project is completed soon.
After the meeting with President Xi Ping President Mutharika proceeded to meet His Excellency Li Zhanshu the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress which is the ruling party in China.
Li Zhanshu is number three in the hierarchy of Chinese administration.
President Mutharika is in China to attend the Forum for China-Africa Corporation (FOCAC)2018 meeting.
President Xi Jing will officially open the summit on Monday.