President John Agyekum Kufuor has conferred the State Honour - “The Companion of the Order of the Volta” - on out-going Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Zhang Keyuan, in recognition of his tremendous contribution to the deepening of the friendly relations and economic partnership between Ghana and China.
This was when the Ambassador called at the Castle, Osu, to bid him farewell at the end of his four-year duty tour of the country.
A Citation, read by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Akwasi Adjei, said Mr. Zhang's diligence and competence has resulted in significant Chinese economic support for Ghana's development programme.
The out-going Ambassador, it noted, facilitated various socio-economic and infrastructural projects by the Chinese Government in Ghana, including energy, the security telecommunication project and the construction of the new Ministry of Defence Complex.
President Kufuor expressed satisfaction with the high level of political, economic and diplomatic relations between Ghana and China.
He said the two countries were relating very well in all aspects of government, citing the increasing number of Chinese construction companies undertaking jobs and the growing volume of trade.
He said the Chinese companies are here winning contracts not only for their competitiveness but the quality of work and the ability to deliver ahead of schedule.
Mr. Zhang said Ghana now has a towering image in China and was hopeful that the coming years would see closer relationship between the two.
He said he was happy to have witnessed the great economic progress made by the country within the last four years, saying from a growth rate of 5.8 per cent, Ghana last year hit 6.2 per cent.
The Ambassador also lauded the Government for the rule of law, press freedom and the freedom of speech prevailing in the country.
Also at the Castle to say farewell to President Kufuor was the German Ambassador, Mr. Peter Linder.
President Kufuor said Ghana appreciated its friendship with Germany and conveyed the nation's gratefulness for Germany's support towards its proper political evolution as well as assistance in the health and agricultural sectors, among others.
He paid tribute to Mr. Linder for showing understanding for the African cause and reminded him to continue to be of service to Ghana and Africa wherever he found himself.
On his part, the German Ambassador said his tenure was a good opportunity to see good things happen in Ghana.
There have been some tremendous achievements by the country over the last four years, these were successful times.
Mr. Linder expressed thanks to the Government and people of Ghana for the confidence he enjoyed.