Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
THE MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has told the Government of China that Ghana is making good progress with the utilization of the $3 billion China Development Bank (CDB) loan.
Ms Botchwey briefed the Chinese government about how the loan facility was being utilized when she held bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
The talks were held on the sidelines of the FOCAC Coordinators’ meeting which took place recently in China.
She told the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, that out of the $3 billion, $1 billion had been utilized to successfully complete the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project and the Integrated National Security Communications Enhancement Project.
Ms Botchwey further indicated that Ghana intended to use $1 billion of the facility for two major railway projects.
She mentioned that Ghana’s Minister for Finance would be working out the details with his Chinese counterpart.
According to her, the Ghanaian Finance Minister shall also seek his Chinese counterpart’s support for the two projects which are critical to the opening up of the untapped areas of Ghana’s economy.
The Foreign Minister revealed that the Government of Ghana had established the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation to develop our Aluminum Industry which is earnestly seeking partners to build the aluminum refinery, the proceeds of which would go towards servicing the facility.
She recounted that Ghana and China had signed two subsidiary agreements to construct about 11 fishing harbours and landing sites as well as the Accra Metropolitan Area Intelligence Traffic Management Projects.
Besides, she spoke about how debt sustainability was one of the key economic policy objectives being pursued under the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda of the Government of Ghana. She noted that the West African nation was continuously working to reduce its debts to Gross Domestic Product ratio.
Meanwhile, both foreign ministers stressed the importance of strengthening Ghana and China’s bilateral relationship which dates back to July 5, 1960.
Ms Botchwey highlighted the warm path Sino-Ghana relations had taken under the able leadership of Presidents Akufo-Addo and Xi Jinping.
BY Melvin Tarlue