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Bilateral Relations
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High Commission of India

Lilongwe (Malawi)

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India-Malawi bilateral relations


Bilateral

The relations between India and Malawi are cordial and friendly. The two countries hold identical views on many regional, international and multilateral issues. India established diplomatic ties with Malawi in 1964, the year when Malawi gained its independence. The diplomatic mission was closed down in May 1993 and was reopened in March 2012. Our interests were looked after by our Mission in Zambia between May 1993 and February 2012. The first High Commissioner Shri Vanlalhuma assumed charge on 21st June 2013 and left Malawi on completion of his tour of duty on 13th June 2016. Shri Suresh Kumar Menon assumed charge as the new High Commissioner of India to Malawi on 09th August 2016. The current President of Malawi is Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who was sworn in as the fifth President after May 2014 elections.

Malawi opened its Mission in Delhi in February, 2007. There is considerable goodwill among the Malawian leadership for India. Among large number of Malawian who have studied in India, there are some Malawi leaders who are alumni of Indian Universities viz. the former President of Malawi, Late Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika and Dr. George Chaponda, the former Malawi Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development who also led the delegation to India for the IAFS III in October 2015 as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was dismissed from the Cabinet in March 2017 by the President of Malawi for allegations of corruption in a Maize import scandal.

Exchange of Visits

Major visits from Malawi:


1983

Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda, the first President of Malawi to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

2006

Mr. Davies Katsonga, Minister of Foreign Affairs, May 10-12, 2006.

2008

Mr. Frank Mwenifumbo, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Food Security for Food Security Conference

2010

Late Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi from November 2-7, 2010

2011

Mr. Daniel Liwimbi, Deputy Minister of Development Planning and Cooperation for Ministerial Meeting of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) held in New Delhi from February 18-19, 2011

2012

Ms. Otria Jere, Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology for the India Africa Science and Technology Ministers Conference from 1-2 March 2012.

2012

Mr. John Banda, Minister of Industry and Trade and Mr. Mahommed Sidik Mia, Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure for the India-Africa Trade Minister’s Conference and 8th CII EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership from 17-20 March 2012.

2012

Prof. Peter Mwanza, Minister of Agriculture & Food Security and Mr. Ritchie Muheya, Minister of Water & Irrigation from 21- 30 September, 2012

2015

Mr. Henry Mussa, Minister of Labour & Manpower Development led delegationon study visit to India 20-24April 2015 visiting National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) in New Delhi. He also met Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri. R.P. Rudy.

2015

A high-level delegation led by Dr.George Chaponda, Minister of Foreign Minister Affairs and International Cooperation attended the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in 26-29 October 2015 in New Delhi.

2016

Mr. Henry Mussa, Minister of Labour & Manpower Development visited India again in August 2016 for medical reasons. He also met Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri. R.P. Rudy and handed over invitation to visit Malawi.

2017

A high level delegation went to attend CII-Exim Bank Conclave in New Delhi on 9-10 March 2017. The 20-member Malawi delegation was led by Mr. Francis Kasaila, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, and comprised of Mr. Joseph Mwanamvekha, Minister of Industry, Trade & Tourism; Mr. Clement Kumbemba, CEO of MITC; Mr. Cliff Chiwunda,Principal Secretary to Ministry of Industry; Trade & Tourism, Dr. Collins Magalasi, Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Malawi; and other senior officials and members of private sector.

2017

Mr. Francis Kasaila, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation met General Dr. V.K. Singh (Retd.) MOS(EA) on 09 March 2017 and Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of Communications on 10 March 2017 in Delhi.


Major Visits from India:


1964

Smt. Indira Gandhi, Minister of Information and Broadcasting to participate in celebration of Malawi’s Independence.

1979

Shri Samrendra Kundu, MOS for External Affairs

2010

Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Hon’ble Vice President of India from 7-9 January, 2010

2011

Smt. Preneet Kaur, Hon’ble MOS for External Affairs in May 2011 as Special Envoy of Prime Minister to handover invitation to President Bingu wa Mutharika to attend the 2nd India-Africa Forum Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

2015

Shri G.M. Siddeshwara, Hon’ble MOS for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in July 2015 as Special Envoy of Prime Minister to hand over invitation to President Peter Mutharika to attend the 3rd IAFS in New Delhi


Agreements

Agreements signed on 8 January, 2010 when Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri M.H. Ansari visited Malawi:

  • MOU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors

  • Protocol for Consultations between Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malawi and Ministry of External Affairs of India

  • National Small Industries Corporation of India and One Village One Product of Malawi for cooperation in the development of small scale enterprises in Malawi

Agreements signed on 3 November, 2010 when President of Malawi H.E. Bingu wa Mutharika visited Malawi:

  • General Cooperation Agreement for promotion of bilateral agreements under various regional and international organisations’ obligations/including, if any, establishing a JPC – Foreign Ministries to monitor

  • MOU on Cooperation in the field of Mineral Resources Development

  • MOU on Cooperation in the field of Rural Development

  • MOU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine

Economic & Commercial


Bilateral Trade:  The trade figures for the period 2006-2015 between India and Malawi are as under:

(Figures in US$ Million)

S.No.

Year

India’s Export to Malawi

India’s Imports from Malawi

Total Trade

1

2006-07

42.56

5.07

47.63

2

2007-08

64.34

15.64

79.98

3

2008-09

89.38

7.08

96.46

4

2009-10

81.36

103.76

185.12

5

2010-11

101.34

19.89

121.23

6

2011-12

148.26

22.83

171.09

7

2012-13

153.30

43.11

196.40

8

2013-14

221.05

15.15

236.20

9

2014-15

214.02

36.78

250.80

10

2015-16

176.13

64.31

240.44


(Source: www.commerce.nic.in)

Major export commodities from Malawi to India are: Pigeon Peas, chickpeas and other pulses. Malawi’s major import commodities from India are: textile yarns, fabrics, transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, machinery, equipment, generators, invertor, and Motor Pumps. The balance of trade is in favour of India and the GoM has been at various forums requesting the GoI to address this adverse trade balance issue by increasing imports of agricultural commodities from Malawi.

Indian investment

With an estimated 8000 PIOs in Malawi and almost all of them in the economic sector, there are about 100 Malawian Indian companies registered in Malawi since the inception of Malawi Investment & Trade Centre in 1993. MITC have indicated to the High Commission that out of 56 companies registered to invest in Malawi, 10 were of Indian origin representing a pledged total of US$ 73 million of total of US$ 932 million. This represents about 10% of the total investment inflows in Malawi in 2016.

  • Surat FARM signed a US$ 1 million investment MoU to set up Organic Bio Fertilizer plant in Lilongwe and an agreement was signed with Mtalimanja Holdings Ltd.

  • M/s SATEC Envir Engineering Pvt. Limited, Ahmedabad signed an MoU with Malawi Government to construct 4 Office Buildings at Capital Hill in Lilongwe.

  • Innosoft India Solutions signed for Provision of e-government solutions with Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology representing the Government of Malawi.

  • The prominent Indian companies in Malawi are Bharti Airtel, Tech Mahindra, TATA, Mahindra, Godrej, Kirloskar, Ashok Leyland, TVS, Bajaj Auto, Eicher, L & T, Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd etc. In 2012, M/s Dhunseri Petrochem & Tea Ltd (DPTL) invested in Tea Estates in Malawi.

  • To promote trade and investment from India, the Malawi High Commission has opened a business centre in Surat, Gujarat on 16th October 2013. Its office is located in the South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce of India, Surat.

Malawi Indian businesses are engaged in agro processing, chemicals, energy, financial service & insurance, food processing, Information Technology & software development, logistics, transport, textile, cosmetics & pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, cement, packaging, plastic, manufacturing, hotel & hospitality etc.

To promote more business between the two countries, Business and Employment Visas to Malawi nationals are issued free of charge with effect from December 2015, as per GOI instructions.

The Mission successfully organized the first ever Malawi India Business Meet (MIBM) on 17 March 2017 where a large number of Indian and Malawian business came together. The GoM Ministers Mr. Joseph Mwanamvekha, Minister of Industry, Trade & Tourism, Mr. Bright Msaka, Minister of Energy, Mining & Natural Resources and Mr. Nicholas Dausi, Minister of Information & CT spoke at the event. The event was a brain-storming session aimed at identifying the areas of business and investment in Malawi. Based on the concept paper expected from Malawi Government, the Mission proposes to plan an Indian Business Meet during the latter part of 2017, in Lilongwe in coordination with CII India.

Lines of Credit to Malawi

Since 2008, the Government of India has extended and completed LOC projects worth US$ 156.5 million for Malawi Government for various infrastructure development projects like Sugar Factory in Salima, Fuel Storage Facilities in three cities, Cotton Ginneries in three cities, Dal Processing Plants in two cities, green belt initiative and agriculture machinery. EXIM Bank has now signed US$ 23.5 million Line of Credit to Government of Malawi for Blantyre Water Project was signed in August 2016. The Blantyre Water Project has reached tendering stage after pre-qualification of Contractors by EXIM Bank. With this, US$ 180.00 million worth of LOC projects have been extended by Exim Bank to Malawi.

Grants to Malawi

Under a grant of US $ 5 million offered during the visit of Vice President of India to Malawi in January 2010, Science & Laboratory equipment worth US$ 1.5 million and medical equipment worth US$ 1.5 million consisting of mammography machines and ultra-sound have been handed over to Malawi government. The mammography were installed in all the four Central Hospitals at Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba, and Mzuzu. US$1 million worth of tractors and agricultural implements supplied by the Government of India were handed over in August 2015 to Government of Malawi. India extended a grant of US$ 1 million to Government of Malawi for setting up Business Incubator Centre in Malawi. The MOU has been signed and BIC team from India visited Malawi in January 2017 to finalize the site for the Centre and other details. The BIC has reached DPR stage in the Ministry.

A grant of US$1 million worth of essential medicines and drugs were handed over to Government of Malawi on 1st July 2015 towards disaster relief operations in 2015. India has also donated medicines and tent ridges in August 2016 towards Disaster Management worth US$ 100,000 which has been handed over to Department of Disaster Management in September 2016. The GOI has also extended another grant of US$ 1 million in response to an International Appeal declaring Malawi on “State of Disaster” by President of Malawi in 2016. The cheque was handed over in November 2016.

Pan Africa Institute Project

It was decided during the 2nd Indo-Africa Forum Summit in Addis Ababa in 2011 to locate India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) at Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Malawi. The project is being implemented by NABCONS, a subsidiary of NABARD. LUANAR had conveyed the cost estimates to NABCONS which has been accepted by NABCONS in February 2016 and an MOU was to be signed with the Ministry of External Affairs to allocate requisite funds to execute the project at the earliest. Since, the actual construction and completion of the IAIARD would take quite some time, GOI has decided to start training programme from a temporary location which has been identified by GOM in October 2016. NABCONS have to inspect the facilities offered by GOM and awaits its visit sometime soon.

Once operational, the institute is expected to provide training and education not only to Malawian students but students from other parts of Africa and will be a Pan-African Training Institute. NABCONS will operate the Institute for 3 years before handing it over to Government of Malawi.

Pan-African E-Network

Under the Government of India’s Pan African e-network project, VVIP Video Conferencing facility at the New State House, Tele-medicine facility at the Kamuzu Central Hospital, and Tele-education facilities at the Chancellor College, Zomba, have been made functional. The multi- million dollar project was inaugurated through video-conferencing at the Chancellor College, Zomba on August 16, 2010 by Shri S M Krishna, former External Affairs Minister of India and Mr. Symon Vuwa Kaunda, the then Minister of Information and Civic Education of Malawi. The Chancellor College held its first graduation ceremony for e-learning students on 14 December 2012, the second one in December 2013, third in April 2015, and the fourth in November 2016. More than 2,000 Malawians have benefited under this programme. Every year approximately 100 students pass out from Chancellor College, under the e-network.

The Government of Malawi has evinced interest in further extension and expansion of the current Pan-African E-Network project beyond the stipulated period of March 2017. The GOM desires to extend the network to (i) other Universities and Colleges in Malawi, (ii) introduction of new curricula and new contemporary subjects both at Graduate and Post-Graduate levels, and (iii) introduce tele-medicine to more District Hospitals in Malawi.

Cotton Technical Assistance Programme

The Cotton Technical Assistance Programme was started by Government of India in 2012 for African countries including Malawi and the first phase was completed in September 2016. The programme strengthens the competitiveness of the cotton industry through technology transfer, enhanced capabilities of stakeholders, transferring best practices in cotton cultivation, R&D, extension systems through training, setting up of infrastructure facilities, high quality lint production, improved ginning facilities, development of residue based industry, and production of value added industry activities. The programme has already trained 200 participants and 25 trainers from Malawi through regional training and exposure visits in India. The programme has now been extended for further period of 5 years (2016-2020).   

Government of India has set up the ‘Skill School for Apparel Manufacturing’ with 20 Industrial Sewing Machines and Cutting equipment. The Skill School has trained the Master Trainers from Malawi and has the capacity to train 20 Malawians at a time. The project has been handed over to Government of Malawi in September 2016 after completing the First Training Programe by trainers from India along with certificates to the trainees at a Valedictory function in September 2016. Mr. George Chaponda, Ministry of Agriculture also attended the event .The school is located at Mkoka Agriculture Research Station. 

Medical Tourism

India has become a major destination for medical tourism from sub-Saharan region. Although South Africa is next door, Malawians now prefer India for advanced medical treatment. The primary reason for India being preferred destination is its state of the art medical treatment at affordable rates as well as the reasonable cost of living in India. While Malawians visit India for medical treatment according to their personal choices/decision, Artemis Hospital in Gurgaon, has worked out a credit line arrangement to facilitate medical treatment of Ministers & Government officials and others needing medical attention in India. Dr. Peter Kumpalume, Health Minister of Malwai visited India from March 29 – April 02, 2017 to inspect hospitals in India to discuss long term arrangements with private hospitals. He also called on Health Minister Mr J.P.Nadda during his visit to India.

Human Resource Development:

India is assisting Malawi in the field of capacity building through its ITEC programme and ICCR scholarships. The ITEC slots started as 10 in 2007-08 was increased to 60 in 2012-13, 65 in 2015-16, and to 80 in 2016-17. From 2007-08 to 2014-15 over 300 Malawians have availed of ITEC civilian training programme in India. Golden Jubilee of ITEC was celebrated in the Mission on December 5, 2014. Malawi is also utilizing the ICCR scholarships for long term courses. The number of scholarships has been increased from 15 in 2016-16 to 17 in 2017-18. In addition, Malawi is utilizing the training programmes conducted under IAFS and special agricultural scholarships, CV Raman fellowships etc. Opening of Mission in Lilongwe has increased the participation of candidates from Malawi.

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi conducted a specialized Executive Development Programme in International Business in Lilongwe in collaboration with the Malawi Institute of Management in December 2014. GOI has also offered to train Malawian doctors in India for a specialized training course in India ranging from 2 weeks to 6 months.

Cultural Relations

A 10-member Rajasthani dance troupe led by Meru Sapera sponsored by ICCR visited India Malawi in April 2014 and performed in Lilongwe and Blantyre. A fusion music team led by Murad Ali sponsored by ICCR visited Malawi in October 2014 and performed at the Blantyre Arts Festival in Blantyre.

A 6-Member Bharatanatyam Troupe led by Mr. Aranyani Bhargav sponsored by ICCR New Delhi visited Malawi. It performed at the Republic Day Reception on 26th January 2017 in Lilongwe. It also gave a performance in Blantyre, the commercial capital of Malawi followed by another performance in Lilongwe. The cultural dance performances were highly appreciated by Government of Malawi and Malawi Indian community.

Indian Community/PIO

There are estimates of about 8000 Persons of Indian origin in Malawi who predominantly originated from Gujarat and are concentrated in important cities like Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu. Persons of Indian origin, who have been here for over one generation, generally hold British passport. There are also a sizeable number of Indian origin people holding Malawian passport. The initial flow of Indians to Malawi was after Malawi became a British Protectorate in 1891. Indians were brought to Malawi/Mozambique for the Rail Project that was set up between Mozambique and Malawi. The number of Indian nationals at present is about 2500 including spouses and children hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra,Telangana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, primarily engaged in trading, agriculture and agro business, pharmaceutical, hospitality, besides a few professionals.

30 March 2017




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