The Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E Li Yuanchao, has announced his country’s preparedness to partner Ghana to undertake a massive transformation of her economy.
Speaking at a State Reception for his Ghanaian counterpart, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, H.E Yuanchao said China stands ready to pass on knowledge, expertise and assistance to Ghana to facilitate the transformation agenda of the Nana Akufo-Addo government.
In particular, China is committed to deeper trade and investment cooperation, as well as value addition to Ghana’s natural resources. In addition, Chinese companies would provide assistance in the railway, agriculture (Planting for Food and Jobs), industrialisation, energy, and transportation sectors, he indicated.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is on a four day official visit to China, at the invitation of the Chinese government. It is the first by a high level government official since the New Patriotic Party took office in January this year.
Dr Bawumia is leading a delegation of Ministers and government officials to the Asian country in a quest to deepen diplomatic and economic ties as well as create opportunities for Ghanaian businesses to form partnerships with their Chinese counterparts.
Ghana was among the first group of Sub-Saharan African countries that established diplomatic relations with China, and the two countries have enjoyed decades of strong ties.
The Akufo-Addo-led NPP government is seeking to leverage Ghana’s abundant natural resources to undertake a massive overhaul of her infrastructural, industrial and agricultural base. In this regard, it is seeking partnerships to extract and process the massive deposits of bauxite at Nyinahin and Kibi, with a potential value of $460 billion, to fund the construction of thousands of kilometres of railway lines, roads, provide irrigation facilities and dams, and construct bridges, among others.
The government is also seeking greater diplomatic ties with her development partners, a step in the right direction, according to the Chinese Vice President.
“Since you were elected Vice President of Ghana, you and President Akufo-Addo have been committed to developing relations in a win-win cooperation with China. We highly appreciate this and thank you for that.
“Your Excellency, you are the first Ghanaian leader to visit China since your new government took office. This visit has a great significance for embarking on a new chapter in China-Ghana friendship and cooperation. I look forward to a deeper and open relationship between our two countries,” H.E Li Yuanchao stated.
Tracing the historic relations between Ghana and China, Vice President Bawumia said it was time for even closer ties.
“Both President Akufo-Addo and I have been following with keen interest and have been very much impressed with the successes of the Chinese Government under the leadership of H.E. President Xi Jinping since becoming the President in November, 2012. We note with interest the Government’s unrelenting efforts to comprehensively deepen reforms to further spur the socio-economic transformation of this country. Equally important is your effort to deepen domestic reforms in socio-economic structures of this great nation. These initiatives will no doubt offer useful lessons and guidance in Ghana’s own socio-economic development
“The office of the Vice President, my office, will henceforth be in charge of managing Ghana-China economic relations. This will allow for quick decisions at very high political levels to facilitate economic and investment relations between our two countries. This is a practical demonstration of the seriousness that we attach to our cooperation
“Your Excellency, on behalf of President Nana Akufo-Addo, I would like to assure the Government of the People’s Republic of China that Ghana will continue to adhere to the One China Policy and is further resolved to consolidate, strengthen and expand the strategic partnership and cooperation between our two countries based on trust, transparency, and professionalism.
“To facilitate trade and deepen financial relations between our two countries, we are also proposing that the government of China supports the opening of a Chinese commercial bank in Ghana,” Dr Bawumia proposed.
The two leaders later held bilateral talks behind closed doors.
While in Beijing, Dr Mahamudu will meet Chinese leaders including Mr Yu Zhengsheng, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese Political Consultative Conference.
Dr Bawumia is further billed to attend the China-Africa Industrial Capacity Cooperation-Ghana Promotion Conference.
A number of Ministers and government officials are also expected to sign cooperation and project agreements with Chinese companies.
H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia returns to Accra on Sunday June 25, 2017.
He was accompanied by a government delegation including the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo; Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen; Mr Joseph Ghartey, Minister for Railways; Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister for Transport; Kwasi Amoako Atta, Minister for Roads and Highways; Charles Adu Boahen, Deputy Minister for Finance; Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister for Energy; Mohammed Habib Tijani, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mrs Gifty Ohene Konadu, Coordinator of the ‘One District One Factory’ initiative and Reginald Yofi Grant, Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.