Senior officials from Scotland and Malawi will spend the next six months drawing up an action plan to help the impoverished African country.
First Minister Jack McConnell's Malawi tour is drawing to a close
The move was announced after First Minister Jack McConnell met Malawian President Dr Bingu wa Mutharika.
The 45-minute meeting came at the end of Mr McConnell's five-day visit to the country, where life expectancy is 37.
The plan will cover education, health and how bonds can be forged between the governments of both countries.
After the meeting, Mr McConnell said: "I came to Malawi to listen, and I have learned a lot.
"I'm very pleased we now have the chance to cooperate with the new government in Malawi.
"I'm sure that Scots will want to respond to this new stage in our friendship with generosity and support."
The framework for the action plan should be ready by the time of the Malawi president's visit to Scotland in November.
President Mutharika is said to be particularly keen on learning from Scotland how to make Malawi's higher education institutions more focused on encouraging youngsters into business and enterprise.
The health plans will cover areas like maternal health and HIV-Aids.
At the start of his tour, Mr McConnell had said the people of Scotland had a moral responsibility to help those in Malawi, which is one of the poorest nations on earth.
Mr McConnell said Scotland must help the Malawian people
He reiterated his point in an interview with BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday, rejecting suggestions that the visit had been unnecessary.
He said: "I think it would be a very, very, sad day if anybody in Scotland took the view that the children and mothers in Malawi, who are dying at a higher rate that almost anywhere in the world, that the life expectancy of 37 years, which is half of that in Scotland, was not important enough for us to come here and see the situation on the ground."
During his stay, the first minister has announced a £120,000-a-year scheme to train medical staff in Malawi in emergency obstetrics and another project enabling up to 10 NHS staff a year to go and volunteer in the country.
Another plan was also proposed whereby Scotland will help train more teachers in a bid to improve its education standards.
Mr McConnell said the Scottish Executive had chosen to focus on Malawi rather than spread efforts more thinly across a wider front.