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Debt restructuring: Ken Ofori-Atta leads delegation to China today

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Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta is today (23rd, March, 2023) leading government’s delegation to engage a Chinese government team on Ghana’s debt restructuring programme.

The engagements are expected to end on Friday 24th March, 2023.

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 will engage 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.

Mr Ofori-Atta leads the team after attending a UNECA High Level meeting in Ethiopia, where he also engaged members of the Paris Club.

What will happen in China?

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

He earlier told to Joy Business that the main focus of the engagement is not debt cancelation, but maintained that the issue will be discussed.

The trip, which was scheduled earlier was postponed to March ending due to meetings of the National People’s Congress of China.

Mr Ofori-Atta has already met officials of the Exim Bank of China in Ghana

Ken Ofori-Atta on China Visit

Mr. Ofori-Atta prior to going to China assured the German Finance Minister that China has committed to a bilateral negotiation.

“The big elephant in the room is China as in how they will comport themselves in the comparability of treatment because China wants to do bilateral,” he said.

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 ¢4 billion annually.

Negotiations with Paris Club Members

According to government, there have been some significant progress made on 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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