Ghana will achieve debt sustainability — Chinese envoy

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The Chinese government has given an assurance that it will work with its Ghanaian counterpart to ensure that Ghana achieves debt sustainability.

China said it remained Ghana’s biggest trading partner and major investment source, and would, therefore, join hands to deliver tangible benefits to the people of Ghana.

“We will work with our Ghanaian counterpart closely under the G20 Common Framework in the following consultation to help Ghana realise debt sustainability,” the Director of Political Affairs of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, Catherine Danzhu Lou, reiterated during the presentation of some items to the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) last Friday.

The Managing Director of GCGL, Ato Afful, supported by Editor, Graphic, Theophilus Yartey; the News Editor, Samuel Doe Ablordeppey; the Foreign News Editor, Mary Mensah, and the Photo Editor, Douglas Anane Frimpong, received the items, which included cameras, lenses, computers and a laptop.

The Chinese Embassy said the support to the largest circulating newspaper house would be annual.

Ghana owes China, its biggest trading partner, about $1.9 billion in bilateral debts, and China’s presence at the Paris Club table to decide debt treatment for Ghana was crucial in securing an International Monetary Fund deal.

This was made possible after the establishment of the Official Creditor Committee of the Paris Club, which China agreed to co-chair.

In the run-up to that, many countries and analysts expressed the position that China, as a matter of principle and policy, did not want to offer debt treatment to any of its support recipient countries.

This elicited some pressure at the country level, the donor community and the IMF for China to support its partner countries who were finding it difficult to service their indebtedness to her.

The difficulty in debt servicing has been occasioned mainly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine.

Trade relations
Recounting the trading relationship between both countries, Ms Lou said last year, bilateral trade volume reached the unprecedented height of $10.2 billion, up by 7.3 per cent over the previous year’s.

She said Ghana’s exports to China, which included cocoa, precious minerals and non-traditional commodities, also increased by 60 per cent.

On the flip side, Chinese companies continued to invest in many areas of the Ghanaian economy such as airline, power generation, steel and ceramics, which had made significant contributions to Ghana’s productivity, Ms Lou said.

The Chinese Embassy’s Director of Political Affairs also referenced the establishment of the China-Ghana Agriculture Luban workshop which was designed to increase the production of cassava through mechanisation.

“We will continue to support vocational and technical education in Ghana to empower the Ghanaian youth with cutting-edge technologies,” Ms Lou stated.

Civilisation initiative
The Director of Political Affairs of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana again made reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposed Global Civilisation Initiative (GCI) which called for the advancement of inter-civilisational exchanges, mutual learning and the promotion of human civilisation.

She said the value of different civilisations could be realised, and that their beauty glowed only when they were shared.

“Today the world is changing in ways like never before. The historical trends of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefits are unstoppable,” Ms Lou averred.

However, hegemonic, high-handed and bullying acts of using strength to intimidate the weak, taking from others by force and subterfuge, and playing zero-sum games were exerting grave harm and posing unprecedented challenges for human society, the Director of Political Affairs of the Chinese Embassy stated.

It was in that vein that the GCI urged “all countries to promote the new concept of win-win for all and the exchanges of mutual learning between different civilisations”.

Ms Lou added that by working together, the world could build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Drawing on the long-standing Ghana-China relationship which dates back to pre-independence, she expressed the belief that the GCGL would make its due contribution to consolidate the time-honoured friendship between “our two countries and peoples”.

For his part, Mr Afful thanked the Chinese Embassy for its continuous relationship with GCGL, the newspaper house that had chronicled the country’s history prior to its independence in 1957 till date.

The MD said the company, with the support of a technology solutions firm, TechGulf, was digitising its archives from inception to the year 2000 to facilitate thematic electronic search.

“The beauty of the Graphic Group is that it actually comes way before Ghana gained independence. And so we’ve been around chronicling the relationships that Ghana or the Gold Coast previously had with friends and international partners such as China, over the last 73 years.

“It will be instructive that one day, when you come back, we’ll take you to go and see the archives of Graphic from the last 73 years, that’s from 1950.

“We will do a search and present you with some content of the relationship that has existed between our country and China,” Mr Afful said.