Your Honorable Togbe Afede XIV, Paramount Chief and President of the National House of Chief,
Respected Mr. Quan Xiaoyi, CEO of the African World Airlines(AWA),
Respected Mr. Simon Allotey, Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am really glad to be part of this grand ceremony for AWA 5th aircraft arrival, and I am particularly delighted by AWA's outstanding performance in Ghana. This is a joint venture between China and Ghana to help Ghana accelerate its aviation connectivity as well as regional integration.
AWA was established 5 years ago with the funding of Hainan Aviation Group of China, China Africa Development Fund, Ghana SAS and SSNIT. Over the past 5 years, AWA has overcome numerous difficulties and well established itself as the leading private aviation company in the country. It has not only increased convenience and options by enabling faster and easier movement of passengers, but also provided more job opportunities to local people. It has brought new vitality to local air transport market, and rendered strong support to make Ghana the aviation hub of ECOWAS region. AWA has also set up its Charity Fund and even in times of financial difficulties, supported a good number of social events in the country. The localization content of AWA is so high that many people fail to realize that this is a China-invested enterprise.
China has great strength in aviation. The total turnover of air passenger and freight transport as well as turnover of air passenger rank the second in the world. The level of security is among the forefront as well. In November 2015, C919, the first big aircraft designed and developed by China itself, rolled off the production line, making a milestone in China's aviation industry. The Chinese aviation is also going global, making advantage of global market and resources and helping construct the global aviation network. When H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Chinese Premier visited Africa in 2014, he pledged support to the construction of 3 networks in Africa, one of which is regional aviation network. This gives a strong push to cooperation in aviation between China and Ghana. Last year two Chinese aviation delegations visited Ghana to explore cooperation opportunities. The Chinese side is ready to sign the MOU on carrying out regional aviation cooperation with the Ghanaian side.
AWA is one of the spearheads in carrying out Chinese government's global aviation strategy and this year of 2017 will witness a significant expansion of its operation capacity and enlargement of network. This will inject fresh impetus to the development of related industries, job creation, tax revenues and consolidation of Ghana's strategic position in the region. We wish AWA further success and also wish the Ghanaian government and other partners would ensure their lasting support and fair business environment to AWA.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China and Ghana enjoy profound traditional friendship which dates back to the founding fathers of our each country. Over the years our cooperation in various areas has obtained gratifying results. In 2016 bilateral trade volume between China and Ghana reached USD 5.9 billion, ranking 6th in that of Africa. China is also one of major countries to invest in Ghana, and projects aided, invested, or financed by China involve important fields of Ghana's national welfare and people's livelihood. As a line in an old Chinese poem goes, "Honey melons hang on bitter vines; sweet dates grow on thistles and thorns." All the achievements of China-Ghana cooperation scored so far do not come easily. We need to treasure with heart and we need to keep forging ahead.
The New Patriotic Party government is committed to improving the economic situation in Ghana, with an aim of achieving industrialization and economic transformation and upgrading through measures such as "One District, One Factory". China will always be Ghana's reliable partner and will continue to provide support to its economic and social progress. As Chinese Ambassador, I will spare no effort in further promoting our bilateral cooperation.