Business News of 2014-01-10

Expedite action on release of Chinese loan — Prez

President John Dramani Mahama has appealed to the China Development Bank (CDB) to expedite the process for the release of the $3 billion loan to Ghana to support infrastructure development.

He said although Ghana received only about $600 million from the $3 billion loan, the country continued to pay commitment fees on the whole loan. He, therefore, expressed the hope that the CDB team which is expected in Ghana next week, would tie all the loose ends and facilitate the processes for the release of the loan.

President Mahama made the call yesterday during a courtesy call on him by the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr Yi Wang, at the Flagstaff House.

Mr Wang, who is on a two-day visit to Ghana, is also on a tour of four African countries to strengthen trade and diplomatic relations between China and those countries. He has already visited Ethiopia and Djibouti and his next port of call is Senegal.

Present at yesterday's meeting were the Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Douglas Bani; the Executive Secretary to the President, Dr Raymond Atuguba; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Hannah Tetteh; the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Terkper; the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Armah Kofi Buah, and the Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Financial and Allied Institutions, Mr Fifi Kwetey.

CDB

The President said the fact that Ghana continued to pay commitment fees on the whole CDB $3 billion was a disincentive to it.

He, therefore, stressed the need for the CDB to expedite the process for the release of the loan to support the execution of projects.

Illegal mining

Touching on illegal mining, President Mahama said the government took the recent action on illegal mining in order to stop the exploitation of the country's resources and added that the government was working to streamline the mining sector to stop the degradation of the environment.

He commended the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gong Jianzhong, for his collaboration in resolving the deportation of Chinese illegal miners.

Chinese Foreign Minister

In his remarks, Mr Wang expressed the hope that the CDB team would address all the challenges confronting the loan during their visit to Ghana next week.

That, he said, would facilitate the release of the loan to support infrastructure development.

He acknowledged the challenge of illegal mining and expressed the commitment of the Chinese government to work with Ghana to address the situation.

Mr Wang also said 2014 is a year of transformation for China, and indicated that China would enhance its relationship with Ghana and other African countries.

Source: graphic.com
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