By ZBC Reporter
The 10th Session of the Zimbabwe-Malawi Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation has underscored the importance of strategic partnerships between the two countries in key areas of trade, agriculture, mining and information communication technologies.
The session, which saw the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Promotion of Small to Medium Enterprises Development, deliberated on the state of bilateral relations between the two countries dating back to the days of the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland as well as the struggle for independence.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo spoke on the need to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries.
“The need to further strengthen our economic cooperation cannot be over-emphasized. Success in this endeavour will not be fully realised without the participation of our private sectors. We, therefore, need to create the enabling environment to encourage the private sectors to invest in our countries and trade among themselves.
“In that regard, we need to expedite the conclusion of the enabling legal instruments such as the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement and the MoU on the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises. I am in no doubt that the conclusion of these instruments will go a long in increasing the flow of private sector investment between our two countries to complement what is already there.”
Malawi Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Eisenhower Mkaka emphasised that strong bilateral ties between the two countries are key building blocks for globalisation.
“Strong bilateral relations are not only necessary for the benefit of our two countries, but they are also building blocks for globalisation. It is through the exchange of experiences at these bilateral frameworks such as JPCC, as well as regional fora that we can effectively participate in global affairs, both economically and politically.
“In this regard, it is pleasing to note that Malawi and Zimbabwe continue to work closely in regional organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for East and Central Africa (COMESA) and African Union (AU), as well as, in multilateral organisations such as the United Nations (UN).”
The need to reform the United Nations Security Council, the importance of the private sector in promoting trade and investment between the two countries as well as the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were also discussed by the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC).
Cabinet ministers- Honourable Kazembe Kazembe, Honourable Zhemu Soda, Honourable Joel Biggie Matiza, Dr Anxious Masuka, Professor Amon Murwira, Deputy Ministers Polite Kambamura and Mike Madiro as well as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation Dr Thokozile Chitepo were in attendance.
The 11th session of the JPCC is set to be hosted by Malawi in 2022.