Vice-president SaulosChilima said Malawi is geared to move with speed to come up with plans on how best to cooperate with China on trade and economic projects.
The Veep said this yesterday during a virtual China-Africa Economic and Trade Promotion Council (Caetp) Meeting for Malawi and China.
He said: “We have technical teams in place to get to work, we are looking forward to more serious business not just what is on paper.
“We need to move with speed to achieve the set goals in the agreement, we do not have a luxury of time to waste on our side.”
Government committed to implement the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) projects by starting preparatory works for full implementation next financial year.
In the 2021/2022 fiscal plan, Treasury allocated K2 billion for the development of SEZ to be established at Matindi and Chigumula in Blantyre, Area 55 in Lilongwe and Katoto in Mzuzu.
So far, the government paid for the land in Chigumula and is working with the Export Development Fund to mobilise resources to compensate affected citizens around the areas.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Government has expressed interest to support Malawi with the implementation of SEZ at Cape Maclear in Mangochi.
Caetp chairperson XuXiangping said his government is committed to support Malawi in the SEZ projects.
“China has experience in SEZ implementation and we are keen to implement the projects in Malawi,” he said.
Among others, he said China has been implementing Hunan Pilot Free Trade Zone along with other 21 Free Trade Zones established in China to facilitate trade and investment, a model which is poised to benefit Malawi.
In his remarks, Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu said the Special Economic Zones Bill to facilitate smooth implementation hasbeen developed and is with the Ministry of Justice for further action.
Elsewhere in the world, apart from China, Zambia, Botswana and Rwanda have working SEZ which have simplified the entry of investors.
SEZ are aimed at increasing trade, investment, job creation and effective administration and within the zones, financial policies are introduced regarding investing, taxation, trading, quotas, customs and labour regulations.
Caetp is a comprehensive and non-profit organization, authorised by the Chinese Communist Party Hunan Provincial Committee and the Hunan Provincial People’s Government.