It came off as a news too good to be true when it was reported that the People’s Republic of China has extended gesture to President Chakwera whereby the Chinese Government committed to foot and shoulder all expenses related to President Chakwera’s travel to and from China for China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE).
President Chakwera was invited to attend CAETE as guest of honour, but he expressed regret that he would not be able to attend the event due to financial constraints that has forced his administration to go into austerity mode.
Desiring his strict presence as a forum where Malawi would reap dividends through securing new market frontiers, China insisted with its invitation by offering to send a 300-seater plane to transport the Malawi President and his delegation to the event.
The Malawi leader welcomed the gesture and yesterday evening, the plane from China landed at Kamuzu International Airport from where President Chakwera and his delegation have left for China last evening. He is expected to give a keynote address to the CAETE which will take place at Changsha City, Hunan Province from 29th June to 2nd July, 2023.
This is a testament to the fact that President Chakwera has managed to forge a good working relationship with important countries such as China.
Speaking during his departure, Chakwera said he will take advantage of the conference to lobby for debt restructuring relating to the debt that Malawi has with the People’s Republic of China.
“It is great that we have been invited in this fashion. We will take advantage of this in order for us not only to sell for Malawi, in terms of trade and what economic activities the two countries can accomplish for our benefit. We will also want to talk about the debt levels that we have as bilateral agreement that have been made in the past and how we can continue in the future with the IMF programme,” said President Chakwera.