President Mahama receives five new envoys
President John Dramani Mahama on Friday received five new envoys accredited to carry out their duty tour of Ghana at the credential hall of the Flagstaff House, Kanda.
They are Mrs Maria Jesus Alonso Jimenez of Spain; Mrs Sun Baohong, Peoples’ Republic of China; Mr. Cheong Loon Lai, Malaysia; Lieutenant-General Muhammad Ashraf Saleem, Islamic Republic of Pakistan; and Mr. Alekos Ikonomopoulos of Greece.
Conferring in separate meetings with President Mahama, the envoys indicated their readiness to deepen cooperation with Ghana in several fields of endeavour, with each of them putting on the table their specialties that could be leveraged to the mutual benefit of Ghana and their countries.
Receiving the Spanish Ambassador, President Mahama indicated Ghana’s readiness to resume some of the protocols between Ghana and Spain that were stalled as a result of the Eurozone crisis.
Government, he said, was exploring the possibility of utilizing resources from the “debt swap” to embark on steel bridges project in some parts of the country.
Mrs. Jimenez in response congratulated President Mahama on his assumption of the ECOWAS Chair, expressing the belief that he would inject impetus into the sub-regional body.
She pledged her country’s support for President Mahama’s determination to promote peace and security in West Africa, especially in maritime piracy.
On China, President Mahama underlined government’s commitment to working with the new envoy to complete some unfinished businesses her predecessor left off, namely land reclamation efforts in areas affected by illegal small scale mining, projects in the energy milieu, and other infrastructure schemes.
President Mahama also acknowledged Chinese support in the construction of the 400MW Bui Dam, ongoing works on the Cape Coast Stadium and on the Kotokuraba market, apart from the granting of scholarships to Ghanaian students to study in China.
President Mahama said he has accepted an invitation to participate in a China-Africa Local Government Summit slated for July this year.
On her part Mrs. Sun said: “I am honoured to represent China in your beautiful country.
“Ghana is famous for its splendid civilization and a symbol of pan-Africanism and African unity.”
She noted that Ghana was enjoying political stability and rapid economic growth, and also lauded the country’s role at safeguarding regional peace and security.
“We will support your efforts to promote peace and security in ECOWAS and regional integration,” she added.
Next to present his letters of credence was Mr. Cheong of Malaysia, and receiving him, President Mahama called for public-private-partnerships with that country in the fields of mining, port expansion, energy, rail and transportation.
He said Ghana was keen to enhance the trade volumes between it and Malaysia, currently pegged at a quarter of a billion dollars.
In response, Mr Cheong said his country regarded Ghana as the main gateway to West Africa, indicating that his side was also keen to deepen cooperation with Ghana in the area of trade and investment.
When Lt-Gen. Saleem took his turn, President Mahama noted that even though the envoy was non-resident in Ghana, he would forge closer ties with Ghana from his Abuja base.
He said Ghana and Pakistan share common values and belong to the United Nations and it would therefore be easy to collaborate in joint ventures and infrastructure projects.
General Saleem called for regular high-level business visits between the countries to enable the private sectors of the two countries to interact more often, and explore investment avenues.
He indicated that Pakistan’s economy was basically agrarian; especially in rice, beans and cotton cultivation and Ghana could also increase the cultivation of such crops with experience and expertise from his country.
Welcoming the Greek Ambassador, President Mahama acknowledged the country’s know-how of 4,000 years in sea-faring, shipping technology and maritime affairs in general and advocated joint ventures and technology transfers.
Mr. Ikonomopoulos, on his part, noted that Greece experienced some difficult moments concerning their economy but added that the situation had been stabilized, describing Ghana as an important partner that Greece would be collaborating with in several fields of endeavour.
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