The Indian Government has committed to continue supporting Malawi with its development needs to ensure sustainable growth and improvement of people’s livelihoods.
Indian High Commissioner Shri Gopalakrishnan said this yesterday in Lilongwe on the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence.
He said this year’s celebration is unique due to ‘Azadi Ka Amarit Mahotsav’ a special initiative by the Indian government to commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.
Said Gopalakrishnan: “We look at Malawi as a strategic partner in fostering socioeconomic development and we are committed to continue supporting Malawi.
“In Malawi, India at 75, definitely has a bearing, judging from the past interactions of the two governments in all aspects. There are several projects that were completed in Malawi through lines of credit, gifts and grants”.
The Indian envoy mentioned the implementation of the Sugar Factory in Salima, construction of fuel storage facilities, construction of vocational schools in Zomba and Mponela in Dowa as some of the support his government gave to Malawi.
Gopalakrishnan said India recently donated 50 000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to support Malawi’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
In the area of trade, the envoy mentioned the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the export of 50 000 metric tonnes of pigeon peas to India for five years.
He said the celebrations will be spread across the country with a series of activities to showcase Indian history, culture and achievements.
Earlier, Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe hailed India’s long-standing relations with Malawi.
He said the relationship has culminated in the opening of the pigeon peas market for local farmers.
“The benefit of having a guaranteed farm produce market through the MoU with India will pave the way for an increase in the production quantities of pigeon peas and processing of yellow split pigeon peas traded between Malawi and India,” he said.
Gopalakrishnan stated that the country also stands to benefit from competitive international market prices that the Indian market would be offering and thereby diversifying sources of foreign exchange for the economy.
“The MoU resonates well with the MW2063 Agenda that has prioritised pillars of industrialisation, agriculture productivity and commercialisation”.
Bilateral trade between India and Malawi has been growing and as per 2019/20 data, it stands at about $261 million.
India is also one of the largest investors in Malawi with over $500 million worth of investment so far.