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31.07.2002 General News

Ghana wants to learn from us -Malaysia

By AUDREY EDWARDS
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PUTRAJAYA: Ghana is keen to learn from Malaysia on the handling of economic and infrastructure development.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad said yesterday that a meeting between Ghanaian president John Agyekum Kufuor and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad touched on topics involving the trade and economy of both countries.

“They are interested because they have a new leader (Kufuor) and are trying to restore their economy. They are looking at infrastructure development and how we handle housing.

“They also want to look at how we handle the economy, especially financially, both through domestic financing and FDI (foreign direct investment),” he told reporters after official talks between Dr Mahathir and Kufuor, which lasted about 45 minutes, and a delegation meeting between representatives of the two countries.

Dr Mahathir, accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, called on Kufuor at Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur for the meeting, which was also attended by the Ghanaian president’s wife, Theresa Kufuor.

Science, Technology and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Law Hieng Ding was also present.

Dr Toyad said that Ghana was also interested in transfer of technology, especially in information and communications technology.

“We promised to support Ghana by providing information and knowledge which may be of interest to them and help them in development programmes,’’ he added.

Both Dr Mahathir and Kufour also discussed how to increase trade between the two countries, which saw a decline last year.

Total trade in 2000 totalled RM104.4mil but fell to RM91.1mil in 2001. Exports from Malaysia to Ghana fell from RM90.8mil in 2000 to RM77mil in 2001.

Kufuor is on a four-day official visit to Malaysia.

He heads a 27-member delegation, which includes three ministers, senior government officials, businessmen and media representatives.

Earlier in the morning, the Ghanaian president was accorded a full ceremonial welcome at Parliament Square. Present were Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid, Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah.

Members of the Malaysian Cabinet and foreign diplomatic corps were then introduced to Kufuor and his wife. — Bernama

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