President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and the First Lady Professor Getrude Mutharika arrived in Beijing, China Tuesday night for the 2018 third Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

The summit which will be held from September 3 to 4 under the theme “China and Africa: Toward an even stronger Community with a shared Future through a win-win Cooperation” will be attended by over 50 African countries, representatives of the African Union commission (AUC), United Nations representatives and several International organizations including the Head of State of the People’s
Republic of China as the host.

The summit will be preceded by the 13th senior officials meeting (SOM) and the 7th FOCAC Ministerial Conference which will take place on September 1 and 2 2018 respectively.

Prior to the Summit, Mutharika will hold bilateral talks with Xi Jinping President of the People’s Republic of China to strengthen further economic and political cooperation and set the agenda for continued partnership between the two countries for the next 10 years.

On arrival at the Regent Hotel in Beijing where the first couple will be lodging, the Mutharikas were welcomed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Emmanuel Fabiano, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Henry Mussa, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water
Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Massi and other Malawi government officials.

Speaking to the local press at the Regent Hotel, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Emmanuel Fabiano said Malawi stands to benefit even more from the bilateral talks the country will hold with China.

“Through the bilateral talks we expect to see a number of projects that will be negotiated and some of them implemented. As you are aware in the first 10 years we had five projects that were funded by the government of China some of them through concessionary loans and at least one of them as a grant,” explained Fabiano.

He said the President will also hold a number of meetings with different organizations that are operating in China as well as in other countries on the continent with the hope that the Malawi delegation can encourage them to come and invest in Malawi through Foreign Direct Investment.

“So, we look forward to very successful deliberations between our president and the people that the president is going to meet here in China,” he said.
Among other objectives the Summit intends to take stock of the implementation of the Johannesburg Plan of action (2016-2018) under which China committed USD60billion for economic and infrastructure development in Africa as well as consider the (2019-2021) Beijing Plan of Action.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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