China-Ghana cooperation thriving despite COVID-19: diplomat

By Dong Feng Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/31 18:48:40

The site of the upgrading project of Ghana coastal road in Accra Photos: Courtesy of CGICOP

China and Ghana are continuing to promote bilateral trade despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as the two sides actively push several programs ahead including a double taxation-avoidance agreement, a Chinese diplomat said in an exclusive interview with the Global Times. 

Meanwhile, a 26-kilometer-long road project linking Ghana's capital city Accra and Ghana's largest port city Tema, one of the Belt and Road Initiative's landmark construction projects, recently kicked off.  In addition, both sides are actively coordinating to cresource problems in areas such as workforce and equipment, the diplomat said.

Chai Zhijing, commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Ghana, told the Global Times on Friday that the two countries are working on a double taxation agreement in 2020 given the fact that China's enthusiasm for investment in Ghana is high. 

"In 2019, Chinese companies' direct investments in Ghana's industries reached $27.76 million. Despite the impact of the pandemic, the first six months of 2020 saw direct investments of $31.87 million in Ghanaian industries," Chai said. 

There are many successful investment projects. The renovation project of Ghana's coastal road, for example, began on August 14. The project will benefit more than 4 million people and accelerate regional economic development and integration, Chai noted. 

It was also one of the key cooperation projects inked between China and Ghana during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in September 2018. 

The 26-kilometer-long road project includes two-way four-lane urban roads, railway bridges, overpasses, traffic signal systems and a control center building. 

"The project brings great convenience and promotes the long-term economic and social development of Ghana," Chai said. 

Besides infrastructure projects, in the past decade, Chinese enterprises have invested in several key areas. 

Industry-wise, Chai commented that Chinese investment in Ghana is mainly focused on the fields of energy, infrastructure, aviation, mineral development, the light industry and building materials. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic has quickly spread worldwide, slowing down a number of projects due to the restricted movement of people, China and Ghana have managed to counter the impacts together, according to Chai.

To overcome workforce shortages, Chinese enterprises shared resources in both personnel and equipment, making full use of local employees. Since June, more than 100 skilled Chinese workers and management personnel have been transferred to Ghana, Chai said. 

"Their arrival effectively guaranteed the construction progress of the second phase of the Ghana Natural Gas Pipeline project," he said. 

Posted in: ECONOMY

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