20.06.2006 Business & Finance

Ghana, China Hold Bilateral Talks

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Ghana and China have reached broad agreements on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

After more than an hour of talks at the Castle, the seat of government, in Accra, between the Government of Ghana, led by President J. A. Kufuor, and the People's Republic of China, led by the Premier, Mr Wen Jiabao, the two sides signed documents on bilateral and technical co-operation in the economic, trade, telecommunications, cultural, educational and health fields.

These included a $30-million credit for the expansion of the Ghana Telecommunications Company (GT), $3-million economic and technical co-operation, the establishment of malaria prophylactic demonstration centre, the conduct of investigation into the ground wireless covering project of two radio and broadcasting programmes and exchange of specialist medical teams, among others.

President Kufuor and Premier Wen expressed satisfaction with the steady growth of China-Ghana relations and co-operation in recent years and agreed to strengthen high-level contact and friendly relations at all levels and deepen co-operation in various fields.

The two sides pledged to support each other on matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity. They also agreed to work together to tap the potential of their economic and trade relations and to step up co-operation in infrastructural development, construction, telecommunications and human resource development.

The two countries also reached consensus on the need to encourage companies from the two countries to expand business ties and co-operation and to create favourable conditions to boost bilateral trade and investment.

President Kufuor said although the two countries were far apart, they shared profound traditional friendship.
He recalled that the relations between Ghana and China had been growing since 1964 when the then Chinese Prime Minister visited Ghana.

President Kufuor used the occasion to invite the Chinese President to the celebration of the 50th independence anniversary of Ghana to be climaxed in March, next year.

The Chinese Premier said the Chinese Government placed high value on enhancing friendship and co-operation with Ghana.

He gave the assurance that China would work with Ghana to build on past achievements and to make new progress in China-Ghana friendship and co-operation.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, said the visit of the Chinese Premier and the various agreements signed were a demonstration of confidence in the Ghanaian economy.

He announced that the Chinese Government had decided to purchase selected agricultural products, including cocoa, from Ghana.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said Chinese exports to Ghana in 2005 was $433.7 million while Ghana exported items worth $31.3 million to China, leaving a deficit of $402.5 million.

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