They Are Chinese vendors not investors, says the Chinese ambassador
Chinese nationals flooding to rural areas to do businesses are mere vendors and not investors, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Pan Hejun said on Monday in Lilongwe.
Ambassador Hejun further said it is up to the Malawi government to thoroughly screen the Chinese nationals willing to invest in the country.
"These are small vendors and investors and why should your government allow them to do business. They are capitalising on government's failure to screen foreign traders," said Ambassador Hejun.
His remarks come amid a mounting resentment for such 'Chinese vendors' by local traders, accusing them of monopolizing businesses.
Ambassador Hejun acknowledged that under government trade and investment laws, foreign traders are not allowed to do businesses in district trading centres.
He said he supports the decision to relocate such traders into cities or towns.
“Rules should be respected and we don’t encourage these traders to go into rural areas," he said.
Malawian traders in district trading centres have for the past months been protesting the presence of foreign traders in their areas.
Apart from Chinese nationals, some of the foreigners doing businesses in rural areas are Burundians