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25.11.2008 General News

Japan Pledges Continued Support For Ghana


Japan yesterday pledged to abide by its development assistance commitments to Ghana notwithstanding the turmoil on the global financial market.

This was when President John Agyekum Kufuor received the Letters of Credence from the new Japanese Ambassador, Mr Keiichi Katakami, at the Credentials Hall of the Castle, Osu,in Accra.

Two others, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Mr Lee Sang-Hak, and the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs Victoria Mendez-Charles, also presented the Letters of Accreditation.

President Kufuor said the country wants to see more investment in-flows from the Asian economic powerhouse, Japan, to grow the already good relations between them to their mutual benefit.

He described as refreshing, news that, a leading Japanese Company has expressed interest to explore for oil in the Keta area of the Volta Region.

President Kufuor acknowledged the enormous support Ghana has received from Japan within the past eight years, especially in the areas of education, roads, infrastructure and agriculture.

Mr Katakami, promised that he will do everything he can to attract more Japanese businesses into the country.

He said he will work to strengthen the bond of friendship and economic co-operation, saying, 'a strong wind will be blowing from Japan to Ghana'.

At the turn of the Korean Ambassador, President Kufuor recalled how in the 1960s, Ghana and Korea were at par in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth but now its per capita income stands at about 20,000 dollars, whilst that of Ghana is around 600 dollars.

He said Korea is a model country, from which Ghana is interested to learn how it achieved its success.

Mr Lee lauded Ghana for her political stability and steady economic progress and said he will work to enhance the ties between the two countries.

President Kufuor spoke of the need for more Ghana-Trinidad and Tobago engagement during the turn of Mrs Mendez-Charles.

He said the petrochemical industry, exchange of faculty and students and direct air link are areas they need to focus on.

Mrs Mendez-Charles promised to facilitate investment flow from the private sector to Ghana.

Earlier, President Kufuor granted audience to the former Chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission, Dr Alpha Omar Konare, at the Castle, and repeated his assurance of smooth hand-over of power to his successor.

'I want to repeat my assurance to the nation and the international community that the Government is all out for free, fair and credible elections.'

Dr Konare said Ghana's election success will be a victory for Africa.