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Friday, June 2, 2023

We’ve had positive talks with China over $1.7bn debt – Finance Minister

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta says discussions with the Chinese government on the country’s debt restructuring programme have been positive.

According to him, Ghana will soon secure external assurances from China.

Mr Ofori-Atta in a tweet on Friday, March 24, also expressed optimism about the government passing the three new tax bills in Parliament. 

He added that the government is making significant progress on securing a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“So far had very positive and encouraging meetings in China! Looking forward to securing external assurances very soon, even as we pass our outstanding domestic revenue bills back home. Great progress on all fronts.”

Mr Ofori-Atta discussed the bilateral talks with China on debt restructuring as well as seek financial assurances for Ghana’s programme with the IMF.

The objective of the engagement is not debt cancelation but maintained that the issue will be discussed.

The engagements are expected to end today. 

The Ghana delegation is made up of Technical Officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bank of Ghana.

The team also engaged representatives of the Chinese government and their counterparts from China’s Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs as well as the Central Bank of China.

Passing revenue measures as pre-condition for IMF Programme

Government is hoping to get parliament’s approval for three revenue bills which are key requirements for securing a deal with the IMF.

The bills are the Income Tax Amendment Bill, the Excise Duty Amendment Bill and the Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill, all expected to rake in about GH¢4 billion annually.

Earlier negotiations with Paris Club Members

According to government, there has been some significant progress made in negotiations with the Paris Club.

Details on China’s Debt 

Ghana is hoping to restructure $5. 7 billion of its external debts,  with China holding a third of the figure, amounting to $1.7 billion dollars.

Ghana’s total debt owed its external creditors is pegged at $29.2 billion.

The structure of Ghana’s External Debt showed that Ghana owes China about 1.7 Billion Dollars. Eurobonds is 13.1 Billion Dollars, Multilateral accounts for about 8.1 Billion Dollars.

The rest are Paris Club Countries – $1.9 billion and other creditors accounting for $3.2 billion.

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