Malawi to negotiate debt restructuring at China-Africa Expo

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera

President Lazarus Chakwera says the third Africa-China Trade and Economic Expo presents Malawi an opportunity to reinvest its energy on development by negotiating possible debt restructuring with partners.

He was speaking Tuesday afternoon at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe shortly before his departure to Changsha, People’s Republic of China to attend the expo from June 29 to July 2nd.

Chakwera said restructuring the country’s debt and allowing the country to breathe from debt would ensure that resources are channelled towards critical areas of development.

‘We will take advantage of our invitation in order for us not only to see what we can sell from Malawi in terms of trade and what economic activities the two nations can accomplish for our benefit, we also want to talk about the debt levels we have as per bilateral agreements that had been made in the past and how we can continue in the future. Among these are the IMF programmes.” He said.

The president further indicated that most of the county’s revenue is exhausted through settling debts accrued in the past, a situation that has frustrated development prospects for a long time.

The trip comes at a time Malawi seeks to favourably poise herself to obtain the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The ECF provides medium-term financial assistance to eligible, low income countries to implement economic programmes that propel stable and sustainable microeconomic statuses.

This year’s expo focuses on nine programmes which are; health, agriculture, trade, investment, green development, digital innovation, peace and security, capacity building, cultural and people-to-people exchange.

Malawi is also expected to harness the expo’s areas of focus to position herself for the gradual realisation of the agenda 2063 where agricultural productivity and industrialisation are key pillars.

Malawi and China enjoy strong bilateral relations spanning fifteen years, manifested in a number of important infrastructure such as the Parliament building in Lilongwe , Malawi University of Science and Technology and Chitipa- Karonga road, among others.

President Chakwera and the First Lady were seen off by Vice President , Saulos Chilima, some government ministers and officials.

Reported by Rachel Gonani

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