China is discussing with the Malawi Government to find short and long-term solutions to the current fuel crisis, Chinese Ambassador Pan Hejun has disclosed.
Pan was on Wednesday addressing a news conference on the gala and cultural festivals to be held in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commercial city, Blantyre, and the capital, Lilongwe, as part of celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are engaged in discussions with government on the long and short-term measures. China is willing to help Malawi as a friend to find common prosperity,” said Pan, refusing to divulge more before agreements were reached.
He said long-term proposals include setting up of fuel reserves, but added that China would make commitments after experts from the two countries make appropriate recommendations.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our projects, which we discussed at the start of the relationship five years ago, are all but one completed. We built Parliament, the international conference centre and villas will be handed over this month. The Science University will be completed by December and the same for Chitipa-Karonga Road,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Pan said.
He said the new sports stadium project has delayed as there were indications that it may move from Lilongwe to Blantyre.
The ambassador said Chinese companies bought tobacco worth $50 million and they will continue to do so.
On Chinese traders operating in rural areas, Pan said his office has engaged relevant ministries to find a solution since foreign traders are not allowed to operate businesses in rural areas, according to Malawi laws.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We cannot allow that they squeeze business opportunities of Malawians, especially in rural areas,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
The Chinese New Year now called the Year of the Dragon will be commemorated with a cultural festival gala on January 10 at the International Conference Centre before hosting the same at Comesa Hall in Blantyre on January 11.