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Speech by Ambassador Yu Wenzhe At the sod-cutting ceremony of the Bui Hydro Project

Your Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana,

Honorable Chairman of National Development Planning Commission,

Honorable Ministers,

Honorable Members of Parliament,

Honorable Members of the Council of State,

Ni Mei, Na Mei, Nananum,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a great honor and privilege for me to attend the sod-cutting ceremony of the Bui Hydro-electric Power Project at the invitation of the Ministry for Finance & Planning and Ministry for Energy. First of all, I would like to extend my heart-felt congratulations to the Ghanaian Government and people on the sod-cutting ceremony.

The Bui Hydro-electric Power Project is a lasting solution to the challenges of providing long-term sustainable sources of energy to meet the needs of the national development of Ghana. When completed, it will provide a solid foundation for the economic and social development of the country as well as the development of the local Regions. After I came to Ghana, many friends told me that the construction of the Bui Hydro-power Project had been a long cherished dream of the Ghanaian people. I am very happy that today's sod-cutting ceremony has made the Bui dream one step closer. The Bui Hydro-power Project will constitute a precious legacy of Your Excellency's Government for the Ghanaian people, and it will also serve as a new landmark of the China-Ghana friendship.

The presence of Your Excellency, Mr. President, shows the great importance Your Excellency attaches to this project and to the friendly relations between our two countries. I am fully aware that today's sod-cutting is only a first step towards the realization of the Bui dream and we have to work even harder to complete the Bui dream. Sino-hydro is a large-scale Chinese enterprise with rich experience in hydro-power project and high sense of social responsibility. I am confident that Sino-hydro will exert all its effort and work closely with our Ghanaian friends to make the Bui Hydro-electric Power Project a model project of China-Ghana cooperation

Your Excellency,

China and Ghana have a strong bond of friendship dates back to the 1950' and 60'. In recent years, the bilateral relations have witnessed another milestone when Your Excellency,Mr. President visited China in 2002 and attended the Beijing Summit last November. H.E. Premier Wen Jiabao and H.E. Jia Qinglin, Chairman of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also paid successful visits to Ghana. During the Summit and these high-level visits, the two governments reached broad agreements on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. Quite a number of documents were signed on bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, telecommunications, culture, education, health and so on. Now, the Chinese side is working closely with the Ghanaian side to carry out those projects. The Bui Dam is one of them.

Your Excellency,

China and Ghana are both developing countries. We always help each other in times of need. China will continue to provide assistance to Ghana to the best of its ability. The Chinese Government will continue to encourage and facilitate the Chinese entrepreneurs to come and invest or set up joint ventures in Ghana. In this connection, China has established a China-Africa cooperation fund of 5 billion US dollars to assist the Chinese industrialists and business people to do business in Africa. Here, I would like to quote from a speech by the Chinese President Hu Jintao as the conclusion of my address, "Today, China and Africa are good friends, good partners and good brothers. Our cooperation covering a wide range of areas including political relations, economy, science, technology, culture, education and health, is deepening. We are gratified and heartened by all this progress."

May the friendship between China and Ghana be ever lasting!

May the Republic of Ghana enjoy prosperity!

Thank you.

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