By Elizabeth Ofosu, GNA
Accra, June 17, GNA - Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will pay an official visit to China from Tuesday, June 20 to Sunday, June 25 at the invitation of Li Yuanchao, the Vice President of the People's Republic of China, as part efforts to boost bilateral relations.
Dr Bawumia would meet Chinese leaders and leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to exchange views on bilateral relations and discuss regional and international issues of common interest.
The visit would be the first by a high level government official to China since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took office in January this year.
As part of the visit the two nations would explore cooperation in areas of capacity building, investment, financing and infrastructure development.
Dr Bawumia would also attend the China-Ghana Investment, Production and Capacity Co-operation Forum and meet a number of renowned Chinese financial institutions and entrepreneurs.
Madam Sun Baohong, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Saturday, said the Embassy would work closely with Ghana to ensure the visit ended successfully with positive outcomes.
Madam Sun said China had become the largest trading partner of Ghana as trade between the two countries surged from less than US$ 100 million in 2000 to US$ 5.976 billion in 2016.
In addition, she said, the trade volume between the two countries in the first quarter of the year reached nearly US$1.4 billion.
Statistics by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre indicate that China's investment in Ghana reached US$323 million in 2016 with 36 new investment projects.
Madam Sun said both China and Ghana attached great importance to the visit since it would enhance bilateral relations and expand cooperation between the two countries in various fields and push the China-Ghana relations to a new level.
She said the major social and economic development plans of the Government were consistent with the Belt and Road Initiative of China as well as the relevant content of “China-Africa 10 Cooperation Plans” under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Madam Sun said the Belt and Road Initiative by the Chinese Government was in line with the ideas of the China-Ghana and China-Africa cooperation.
She said the agreement between China and Ghana on Mutual Visa Exemption for holders of diplomatic and service passports was formally implemented on March 28, this year, to enhance trade and cooperation between the two nations.
She said Chinese enterprises were exploring more investment in energy, manufacturing and agriculture, in addition to the signing of the Joint Hospital Cooperation Agreement on March 24 by the two countries.
“We will strengthen policy connectivity with the Ghanaian side, make full use of each other’s advantages, promote cooperation in infrastructure, capacity building, manufacturing and agriculture in a solid and steady manner and make greater contribution to the economic restructuring and industrialisation of Ghana,” she said.
Madam Sun said China had made significant contributions to the economic and social development of Ghana by investing and financing the construction of the Bui Dam, Sunon Asogli Power Plant, natural gas infrastructure, telecommunications backbone networks, the distance education and water supply projects.
She noted that the grant project by the Chinese Government to build 1000 boreholes in Ghana was 80 per cent complete.
Madam Sun said: “Chinese enterprises take root in Ghana, fulfill their social responsibilities actively, and create a large number of job opportunities for Ghana”.
She noted that the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries are flourishing adding; “Learning Chinese is becoming more and more popular among Ghanaians and two Confucius Institutes have been set up in Ghana with 4,000 people registered.”
There are currently more than 5,000 Ghanaian students studying in China, many of whom are funded by the Chinese Government Scholarship programme.
Madam Sun said China had sent six batches of medical teams to Ghana while Chinese experts carry out free cataract surgery and cardiovascular surgery for Ghanaian patients.
China-Ghana relations have enjoyed great prospects since the Government took office in January, she said, and gave the assurance that the relations would be enhanced with the visit by Ghana’s Vice President.
For instance, Madam Sun said, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo met with the Chinese delegation on the first working day after he took office, thus, sending strong signal of the promotion of bilateral cooperation.
She said the Government had put forward a series of major development plans such as the "One-District, One-Factory" and "Planting for Food and Jobs" thus providing new opportunities for the China-Ghana cooperation.
She said the Embassy would soon donate agricultural machinery to the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority and that the new container terminal project at the Tema Port, being constructed by the China Harbour Engineering Company, was progressing steadily.