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Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong at the Farewell Lunch Held by the President of the Republic of Ghana H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Your Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana,

Honorable Chief of Staff,

Honorable Ministers, Members of Parliament,

Your Excellency Edward Boateng, Ambassador of Ghana to China,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends and Fellow Compatriots,

It is my great privilege to attend the farewell lunch held by Your Excellency, Mr. President. I am overwhelmingly honored. Please allow me to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Your Excellency for this extremely friendly gesture. It demonstrates Your Excellency’s strong commitment to promoting China-Ghana friendship and further development of our relations. I have only fulfilled my duty as ambassador to Ghana, while Your Excellency, the government and people of Ghana have given me much more.

This supreme glory belongs to the great country I represent and the great leader who has nominated me as Chinese Ambassador to Ghana. It belongs to the people of China and the whole Chinese Community in Ghana. It belongs to the team in my embassy and the diplomatic corps as well.

Mr. President, I arrived in Ghana on March 27, 2014. Over the past four years, I have witnessed the smooth development of China-Ghana relations. The two countries have maintained close high-level exchanges. Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Mr. Wang Zhengwei and Vice Minister of Commerce Mr. Qian Keming visited Ghana. H.E. Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, H.E. First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo and a number of Ghanaian Ministers successfully visited China.

I have witnessed the growth of economic and trade cooperation between our two countries. China remains Ghana’s the largest trading partner and main source of foreign investment. The bilateral trade volume has risen from 5.6 billion USD in 2014 to 6.68 billion USD in 2017 with Ghana’s export to China reaching a historical high of 1.85 billion USD. China’s registered investment projects in Ghana has risen from 691 in 2014 to 790 by the end of 2017. The Chinese side has implemented a dozen of major cooperation projects through grants and loans. Those projects have made important contribution to Ghana’s economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood.

I have witnessed the flourishing of people-to-people exchanges. The frequency of interaction and level of integration of interests go beyond imagination. The number of Ghanaian people travelling to China has increased by one-third. The number of Ghanaian students studying in China has soared from 3,700 in 2014 to 6,500 in 2017, ranking first in all African countries. The number of Ghanaian professionals receiving training in China has increased from over 300 in 2014 to more than 900 last year, ranking in the forefront in the world.

Mr. President, China and Ghana enjoy profound traditional friendship. Our 58-year diplomatic ties have withstood the test of international vicissitudes and the changes of each other’s domestic situation and are facing new opportunities. The Chinese side has noted with delight that due to your strong leadership, the NPP government has adopted a number of strong measures to develop economy and improve people’s livelihood, resulting in the improvement of macro-economy and fast GDP growth. The international community is upbeat that Ghana will become the fastest growing country in Africa this year.

On the Chinese side, the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party last year and the Two Sessions of NPC and CPPCC this March elected the new leadership of China and proposed a series of new theories and new ideas, clearly outlining the road map for building China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous and strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful. China will make new ground in pursuing opening up on all fronts and in deepening reforms. China’s door to the world will be more and more open. China advocates the establishment of a new form of international relations and promote the building of a community of shared future for mankind. China’s development will provide more opportunities for the world.

Looking forward, China-Ghana cooperation is expected to boom with a number of major projects to kick off, among which are the expansion of Tema Port, the oil exploration in the Voltan Basin, Jamestown Fishing Port Complex, Phase II of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, the cocoa-processing factory and comprehensive development of bauxite. China supports Ghana’s initiatives of “One District, One Factory”, “One Village, One Dam” and “Planting for Food and Jobs”, and welcomes the Ghanaian side to participate in the construction of the One Belt One Road and share the development opportunities.

In September this year, the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in Beijing. Given the complex and profound changes in the international situation, leaders of China and Africa will once again get together to discuss major issues of China-Africa friendly cooperation, mapping out a new blueprint in the new era. I believe that within the framework of FOCAC, China-Africa relations are bound to open a new chapter, and China-Ghana cooperation is sure to usher in a period of great stride.

Mr. President, I came to Ghana with hopes and dreams, and I leave the country with friendship and honor. No matter where I go, Ghana is always at my heart and I will continue to support the development of China-Ghana relations. Once again I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Your Excellency Mr. President, the Ghanaian government and people for the great honor your bestow upon me today.

I wish Ghana and China continue to enjoy peace and prosperity! I wish China-Ghana relations thrive to a new high!

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