February 5, 2017 / 8:41 PM / in 9 months

Ghana seeks 'enhanced relationship' with China: finance minister

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana’s new government will seek to enhance its relationship with China in order to help develop its economy, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told reporters on Sunday.

He said the ministry would on Monday hold its second meeting with the Chinese embassy since President Nana Akufo-Addo was sworn in on Jan. 7, noting that loans would be on the agenda.

China Development Bank agreed a $3 billion loan facility with Ghana in 2011 but only about $1 billion was disbursed.

China plays a major role in Ghana’s economy, both as a source of imports of consumer goods and also as an importer of Ghana’s gold, oil and cocoa.

Akufo-Addo came to power after campaigning on promises to create jobs, restore fiscal discipline and promote development while seeking to restore Ghana to its position as one of Africa’s most dynamic economies.

Since taking over the finance ministry, Ofori-Atta has said the budget deficit and government debt are much higher than had been expected, adding pressure to public finances.

Reporting by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Joe Bavier and Louise Ireland

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