Ofori-Atta travels to  China for debt restructuring negotiations

Story: Business Desk

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has left Accra for China to have negotiations on debt restructuring with officials of that country. 

Sources say the Finance Minister left over the weekend via Addis Ababa where he is attending the UNECA High-Level Ministers meeting on the Global Financial Architecture.

After that meeting, Mr. Ofori-Atta, is expected to head to China, possibly on March 22, 2023.

The Minister who is leading the government delegation is expected to continue bilateral talks with China as well as seek financial assurances for Ghana’s programme with the International Monetray Fund (IMF) . 

The trip was postponed to the end of March because it coincided with the National People’s Congress of China meeting in early March 2023. 

The Minister of Finance haD already held meetings with officials of Exim Bank China in Ghana, all in the line of re-profiling the country’ debt to China.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in an earlier meeting with the German Finance Minister, said China haD committed to bilateral negotiation.

In view of that, he is hopeful a deal can be reached to enable Ghana to present its case before the IMF Board.

“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. The discussion is on how they [China] can envelop as quickly as possible,” he said.

Government sources maintain that the Finance Minister’s visit to China marks a step closer to IMF programme approval by the IMF Board.

The Finance Minister had earlier in an interview told Joy Business the government is working to re-profile the country’s debt with its external creditors including China and subsequently find ways to secure their commitments to cancel Ghana’s debt.

Securing a deal from these creditors will go a long way to get IMF Board approval for Ghana’s Economic Programme.

Todaygh.com  understand that there has been some significant progress on negotiations with the Paris Club, with requisite documentation submitted and the expectation of the formation of a creditor committee expeditiously

Ghana is hoping to restructure $5. 7 billion of its external debt, with China holding a third of it amounting to $1.7 billion.

The structure of Ghana’s external debt shows that the country owes China about $1.7 billion; Eurobonds, $13.1 billion and Multilateral, $ 8.1 dollars. 

The rest are Paris Club countries, $1.9 billion and other creditors, $3.2 Billion

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