Foreign Minister lauds China-Ghana relations
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has lauded the government of the People’s Republic of China for the role it played in Ghana’s effort at restructuring its debt as demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I cannot gloss over the flexibility that the Chinese government showed recently in response to the government of Ghana’s request to restructure its debts.”
“The response of the government of China simply exemplifies what a true friend does for a friend in times of need.
The kind gesture of China, which remains the biggest creditor of Ghana, further illustrates the strong ties we have forged in the years that follow the signing of the treaty and have undoubtedly paved the way for accelerated economic growth,” Mrs Botchwey said in a speech read for her at the commemoration of the signing of the bond of friendship between the two countries.
Impact of friendship
The commemoration was on the theme: “One China, one country, one friendship,” and was put together by the Ghana-China Friendship Association (GHACHIFA).
The minister was happy that the frequent engagement by officials from Ghana and China at the bilateral and multilateral levels had yielded concrete dividends in recent times.
“These include boosting trade relations and investments, with Chinese investments in various sectors such as manufacturing, energy, agriculture and service sectors recording considerable growth.”
“As government implements measures to ensure the growth of Ghana’s private sector, especially to make it more conducive, we can only expect an increase in the foreign direct investment from China in the coming years,” she said.
The minister commended the establishment of the GHACHIFA “for relentlessly driving the agenda for enhanced cooperation between Ghana and China.”
She commended the leadership of the association for its effort at enhancing and expanding the frontiers of the cooperation between Ghana and other countries.
Describing the friendship between Ghana and China as extraordinary, Mrs Botchwey said the signing of the treaty in 1961 signalled the dawn of a new era and established the foundation for practical cooperation in the ensuing years.
She believed that the activities of the association complemented efforts to operationalise the myriad of memoranda of understanding the two countries had signed over the years to promote people-to-people relations between the two countries.
In a statement read on his behalf, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Lu Kun, observed that China and Ghana had always been good friends, partners and brothers.
He said currently China was Ghana’s largest trading partner and a major source of investment and also recalled China’s role in Ghana in securing the $3 billion facility from the IMF.
In a statement, the Chairman of the GHACHIFA, Ambassador Anani Demuyakor, recalled the formation of the GHACHIFA, which he initiated, and was grateful that the association had been sustained till now.
He expressed satisfaction that there were committed individuals in the association who were determined to introduce GHACHIFA to the rest of the country, expressing his belief that the association would remain one of the vibrant groups in the country.
The General Secretary of GHACHIFA, Dr Benjamin Anyagre, called on Ghanaians and Chinese to embrace each other as friends, saying, “let us break the barrier of language and negative perceptions and interact with open hearts and friendship.”
“Let us highlight our positives and let us learn from our negatives and understand each other,” he said.
The owner of Tang Palace Hotel, Tang Hong, who was honoured for promoting Ghana-China relations, promised to champion the cause of Ghana by elevating the Ghana-China friendship to a higher level.
He said China had become the number one trading partner with Ghana since 2014, with bilateral trade volumes standing at $10.3 billion by the end of 2022.
Mr Hong described China-Ghana relations as a module of Africa-China cooperation, saying that there were a number of Chinese companies operating in the country and thanked the government of Ghana for creating good investment opportunities for China.