China beckons Malawi to new initiative

The Chinese government will soon engage Malawi on joining the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) a mechanism aimed at fostering development around the world.

Chinese Ambassador Liu Hongyang said at press briefing in Lilongwe that the two countries will sign a memorandum of understating (MoU) as part of the initiative.

Liu: There are a number of African countries

“To do any project, we need to have a foundation and a framework to be followed and to guide all activities under the BRI. For now, we have the foundation or the cooperation for this initiative, which is not enough.

“Malawi is very busy these days and after everything settles down, we will start talking with government.  Just like other African countries stand to benefit from the project which is linking three continents,” he explained.

The initiative is China’s vision of an interconnected world with enhanced trade support in Africa, Asia and Europe as revamped by President Xi Jinping.

The BRI seeks to open windows of development and direct link to human progress by building it into a road of peace, prosperity and innovation as well as connecting different civilisations.

So far, 129 countries are part of the initiative including some from Africa.

Said Liu: “There are a number of countries in Africa. Rwanda is among countries that have signed the MoU operationalising the Belt and Road Initiative and almost all of Malawi’s neighbouring countries have signed it too, putting the BRI wheels in motion.”

The press briefing was a precursor to the second BRI forum for international cooperation taking place from April 25 to 27 in Beijing.

Malawi is sending a delegation to the forum and, according to Liu,  this shows government’s commitment to benefit from the initiative.

In order for China to strengthen the BRI, the country is scaling up the initiatives financing support by contributing $14.5 billion towards projects in developing countries within the framework.

President Jinping launched the initiative six years ago by revamping ancient trade routes.

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