01 October 2016

China-Ghana trade volume hits historic high US$6.6b

chinaChina-Ghana trade volume hit a historic high of US$6.6 billion in 2015, increasing by 18.2 per cent on year-on-year basis.

China’s direct financial investment in Ghana reached US$174 million, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Sun Baohong, has disclosed.

At the 67th anniversary celebration of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, she noted that the value of China’s newly signed contracts in Ghana reached around US$1.3 billion, ranking high in Africa.

She said the Cape Coast Sports Stadium and Sunon Asogli Power Plant Phase II Project had been completed successfully.

The Ambassador announced that the new major cooperation projects, such as Phase II of the Gas Infrastructure Development Project, Sunon Asogli Zero Discharge 700MW Coal Plant and China-aided 1,000-borehole project, were progressing steadily.

These projects, she stressed, would further support Ghana to fulfill the economic transformation and benefit the people of the two countries.

Education, culture and the National Day

In 2015, she said the Chinese government provided 90 government scholarships and more than 700 training opportunities for Ghana.

Madam Baohong quoted an old Chinese saying which goes, “Rivers, with sources, never stop giving their water, will always flow and never be dried up”. China-Ghana friendship passed on from generation to generation endlessly because of the interaction between peoples. At present, she said there were more than 4,600 Ghanaian students studying in China.

This year, the second Confucius Institute in Ghana was unveiled at the University of Cape Coast, while the Chinese National Youth Football Team visited Ghana and played a friendly match with Ghana Black Satellites at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.

Tens of thousands of spectators watched the match and the whole country was elated at the time.

“Today, the guests from Jiangxi Culture Exchange Group have joined us, having crossed the vast ocean to present the extensive, profound and time-honoured Chinese culture to our Ghanaian friends. Large numbers of beautiful photographs unfold the attractive landscapes of great mountains and rivers in China. A vigorous acrobatic show reflects the happy life of ordinary people in China. An open lecture in the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana highlights the charm of traditional Chinese medicine by words and deeds. Jiangxi Province established sister-region relationship with the Northern Region in 2014, thus all the members of the Jiangxi Culture Exchange Group are old friends of the Ghanaian people, “ she stated and asked all to welcome them with warm applause.

Cultural and people-to-people exchange were the fountain head of China-Ghana traditional friendship, she added.

Diplomatic relations

Madam Baohong said Ghana was the second sub-Saharan African country to establish diplomatic relations with China, adding that over the past 56 years, China-Ghana traditional friendship and mutual political trust had been consistently enhanced.

This year, she said, the Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Mr YU Zhengsheng, visited Ghana successfully, as well as the Ghanaian Minister for Finance, Education and other high-ranking officials.

The frequent bilateral high-level exchanges have greatly elevated China-Ghana friendship and cooperation on economy and trade had kept good momentum and yielded bountiful results.

She said they continued to carry out the great power of diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and were committed to building a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and fostering a community of shared future to protect and promote the common interests of mankind.

“We adhere to mutual beneficial cooperation and advocate a fair, open, all-round and innovative development as the core concept of common development. We also launched a series of initiatives and approaches, actively carrying out the “Belt and Road” Initiative, “China-Africa Ten Major Cooperation Plans” and international cooperation on production capacity and equipment manufacturing, actively engaging in international counter-terrorism and peacekeeping undertaking,” she stated.

China-Africa relations

Last December, she said the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) drew a magnificent blueprint for the development of China- Africa relations.

In less than one year, China’s comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership with Africa had been continuously enriched, as 245 new contracts worth of over 50 billion US dollars have been signed between China and African countries.

She stressed the need for both China and Ghana to take advantage of this fast developing trend, focusing on cooperation on production capacity, equipment manufacturing and the private sector, and exploring new areas and new modes for cooperation.

As a Chinese poem says, “A time will come to ride the wind and cleave the waves; I’ll set my cloud-white sail and cross the sea which raves”. Let us work together to usher China-Ghana relations into the new era of win-win cooperation and common development, she stated.

Major powerhouse

China is still a major powerhouse for world economic development, with high expectation of the whole world.

“We’re committed to cutting overcapacity and excess inventory, de-leveraging, reducing costs and strengthening points of weakness to provide a steady stream of endogenous power for sustainable and healthy economic development,” the Ambassador assured.

“We advance initiatives of “mass entrepreneurship and innovation”, “Internet Plus” and “Made in China 2025” to lead the trend of new industrial revolution. In the first half of this year, China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was 6.7 per cent, and the final consumption accounted for 73.4 per cent of economic growth. The tertiary industry accounted for 54.1 percent of GDP, while 7.17 million new jobs were created for urban residents,” she stated.

Madam Baohong noted that China was now the world’s second largest economy, largest trading nation in goods, largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, third largest outbound investor and tourist market, with GDP per capita reaching nearly US$8,000 and 700 million people being lifted out of poverty.

G20 Summit

The year 2016 has witnessed China carrying forward undertakings of reform and development steadily under the central leadership of the Chinese President Xi Jinping as the General Secretary of the CPC.

As we often say in China, “A single flower does not make spring, while one hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden.” On September 4 to 5, the G20 Summit was held successfully in Hangzhou.

With the theme “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”, the Summit focused on key agendas such as “enhancing policy coordination and breaking a new path for growth”, “more effective and efficient global economic and financial governance”, “robust international trade and investment” and “inclusive and interconnected development.”

Ghana’s commitment

In his address, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who led the Ghanain delegation to the Chinese National Day, Nii Osah Mills, said Ghana was committed to cooperating with China in the international arena for the peaceful resolution of regional and international conflicts and also working towards world stability, security and sustainable development.

He said the two countries shared common positions on a number of global issues over the years, the most recent being the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.

“It is worth noting that the goodwill that had been engendered at the bilateral level had crystalised into mutual solidarity and cooperation on the international scene,” he stated.

Nii Mills was happy to note that China had extended considerable support to Ghana in her quest for economic growth and development over the years.

He said the government and people of Ghana were grateful to China for the extension of various forms of development assistance, including the grants and preferential loans that have yielded those projects.


Source: Graphic.com.gh

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