Ofori-Atta engages China to explore aviation sector

budgetIn a significant move aimed at enhancing regional connectivity and boosting trade relations between Ghana and China, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that Ghana is exploring a strategic partnership with China to establish direct flights between Accra and Guangzhou.

The direct flight route from Accra to Guangzhou is expected to streamline travel and trade activities, and foster closer economic ties between the two nations.

This announcement comes on the heels of Minister Ofori-Atta’s recent official visit to China, where discussions were held on strengthening bilateral relations and exploring avenues for cooperation in various sectors, including aviation. The aviation discussions are being co-led by Ghana’s Embassy in Beijing and the Ministry of Transport.

“We will be collaborating with a major player in China’s aviation industry to explore the provision of aviation services for the West African Region via a direct flight from Accra to Guangzhou to facilitate mobility and commerce between Ghana, the broader West African region, and China,” stated Minister Ofori-Atta in an exclusive interview with the Business & Financial Times.

This initiative aligns with Ghana’s broader economic strategy to leverage partnerships with key international players to drive economic growth and development. Direct flights between Accra and Guangzhou are poised to unlock new opportunities for trade, investment, and tourism, further solidifying Ghana’s position as a strategic hub in the region.

Minister Ofori-Atta further elaborated on the purpose of his delegation’s trip to China, emphasizing the importance of fostering a robust and enduring partnership between Ghana and China. He outlined key objectives, including securing financial support for Ghana’s economic recovery efforts and concluding external bilateral and commercial debt treatment under the G20 common framework.

The Minister commended China’s crucial role in facilitating Ghana’s engagements with international financial institutions, particularly highlighting China’s leadership as co-chair of the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) alongside France. He expressed gratitude for China’s commitment to expedite the completion of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ghana and the OCC, a pivotal next step in Ghana’s debt treatment process.

Furthermore, Minister Ofori-Atta underscored the significance of engaging with Chinese businesses to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into Ghana. He detailed fruitful discussions during the visit, focusing on areas such as infrastructure development, renewable energy projects, technology, aviation services, and industrial growth.

The Minister highlighted several notable outcomes of the trip, including commitments from Chinese authorities to support Ghana’s debt treatment process, discussions on how both countries can deepen collaboration in areas of mutual interests, and how Ghana stands to benefit even more from its longstanding relationship with the Asian country.

Shifting focus to Ghana’s economic outlook for 2024, Minister Ofori-Atta shared positive indicators such as declining inflation, stable currency performance, and increased growth projections. He reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing fiscal reforms and growth strategies aimed at stimulating the economy.

Looking ahead, the Minister outlined forthcoming initiatives, including the launch of a steering committee for the Ghana Mutual Prosperity Partnership, effective implementation of the 2024 Budget, and firm agreements with external creditors to complete Ghana’s Debt Treatment within the next few months.