Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Malawi gets financial boost from China

Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao just before the talks.

By Samuel Makaka in Shanghai, China

One of Malawi’s closest allies, the Peoples Republic of China has provided over MK3 billion as top up to the projects it is sponsoring in Malawi for any financial problems that may arise due to depreciation or any other problems requiring more expenditure.

This was disclosed when the visiting Malawian leader, Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika met his host, the Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday.

“The Peoples Republic of China has provided about US$22 to 25 million to meet any financial hiccups that may arise in the course of carrying out works on the projects they are financing,” said Kachale adding, this is just to make sure that the projects are finished on time.

Some of the main project the Chinese are financing in Malawi include the Chitipa/Karonga road, the new parliament building in Lilongwe, the five-star hotel project and international conference centre in Lilongwe and the sports complex in the same city, Lilongwe amongst many other projects.

The minister said that following this huge financial assistance from the Chinese, the Malawian President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika had proved his critics wrong when he decided switch ties from Taiwan to the Peoples Republic of China.

When Malawi changed ties about two years ago, there were a lot of skeptics and critics who blamed government for dumping long time ally Taiwan for Mainland China. However, the Mutharika administration put its foot down and justified its move.

Malawi is currently enjoying huge financial help from the Peoples Republic of China.

Kachale also commended President Hu Jintao for being keen in seeing that the Malawi-China relationship grows from strength to strength.

He said the relationship has only been in place for two years but within this short space, already, huge projects are being implemented in Malawi.

On her part, Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Etta Banda said during the discussions, President Dr Mutharika began by condoling his counterpart for the loss of life and property during the earthquake which hit China about three two weeks ago.

She said Dr Mutharika asked the Chinese government to assist Malawi with specialists to do extensive exploration work in Malawi for minerals that exist in this southern African country not known and in unknown quantities.

The minister said Dr Mutharika took advantage of the talks to invite President Hu Jintao to visit Malawi on his next leg of tours to Africa.

The Foreign Affairs Minister has since disclosed that President Hu Jintao has accepted to visit Malawi.

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