Govt hopeful of fruitful Ghana-China talks over debt cancellation

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A Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei-Asare, has expressed optimism about a fruitful discussion between the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and China on negotiations for debt restructuring.

Ken Ofori–Atta who left Accra for China on Monday, March 20, with a government delegation is expected to continue bilateral talks with China as well as seek financial assurances for Ghana’s programme with the International Monetary Fund.

Speaking at the signing ceremony between the National Health Insurance Authority and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Accra, Abena Osei-Asare once again called on Ghana’s bilateral partners such as USAID to support the government establish the Ghana Financial Stability Fund as part of efforts to build back the economy.

Ghana, which is struggling with its worst economic crisis in a generation, secured a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December for a $3 billion loan, though asking lenders to provide financing assurances is a condition for the IMF’s board to sign off the programme.

China is Ghana’s biggest bilateral creditor with about $1.7 billion of debt.

A Chinese delegation visited Ghana this month for initial debt talks which the finance ministry said were “cordial and fruitful”.

Ghana suspended payments on most of its external debt last year, effectively defaulting, and still needs to negotiate a resolution with its private international bondholders.

Ghana has already restructured its domestic debt and has requested to rework its bilateral debt under the common framework platform supported by the Group of 20 major economies. An official creditor committee for talks with sovereign creditors is still pending.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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