Chinese Ambassador Shi Ting Wang has said Malawi could tap more into the Chinese market if it develops a robust manufacturing sector.
The Ambassador made the remarks in Lilongwe on Thursday at the opening of a two-day International Seminar on China-Africa Cooperation and Africa’s Development co-hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Malawi and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
He said although Malawi has been recording a negative trade balance with China for some time, the Asian country has a huge market for African products; hence, the need for trade cooperation with developing countries, including Malawi, for mutual benefit.
“Malawi must make progress on development. With the help from the Chinese government and other development partners, the
country’s deficit will reduce.
“Trade takes time. When we were starting, we were always in a deficit, but now we have a lot to offer,” said Shi Ting.
He said the Chinese government has a lot of experience and resources and strives to help develop African countries to win economic liberation and realise economic development
In his remarks, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emmanuel Fabiano said the Malawi Government is now focusing on value chains and agro-processing to enhance its export capacity.
“Indeed there is a trade deficit [with China]. What we import is six times more than what we sell. The solution is for Malawi to increase the production of a number of products that are in demand in China,” he said.
Government initiated a number of policies to unlock the country’s export potential, including the five-year National Export Strategy (NES) and National Investment Policy.
The Malawi Trade and Investment Centre (Mitc) has a portfolio of bankable projects for willing investors.
Statistics show that China contributes more than 20 percent to Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Malawi and China have been enjoying diplomatic relations for 10 years.
Figures show that China’s trade volume with Malawi has surged to more than $500 million (K366 billion) since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2007.
Besides a rapid growth in bilateral trade, more Chinese entrepreneurs are coming to Malawi to invest and do business; hence, creating job opportunities. n