“I believe anybody who is an impartial observer of events in this country would agree that these four or five years where our guest of honour has been the Chinese ambassador here has witnessed truly a very remarkable development in those relationships,” the President said at a farewell luncheon held.
The President recounted the remarkable relationship Sun Baohong has had with Ghana during the period, as evidenced in the exponential growth in socio-economic ties between the two countries.
He paid glowing tribute to the ambassador for her foresightedness and recognition of Ghana as an increasingly vigorous democracy when she took very “unusual” steps to make arrangements for then vice-presidential candidate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for an official visit to China.
“The leaders of the opposition are usually the beneficiaries of official largess of governments in power…but she recognised that Ghana is an increasingly vigorous democracy and the possibility existed that the invitee would be what he is today: the Vice-President of the Republic. She had that foresight and it struck me at the time as an unusual gesture of friendship and solidarity and I felt that when the occasion came I should say so in public how much I appreciated that gesture”, he noted.
The President recounted the longstanding relations between the People’s Republic of China and Ghana, which, he said, dates back to the very early years of Ghana’s independence and further strengthened during the Kufuor administration, under whose tenure the Bui Dam was constructed with Chinese assistance.
The President noted further that very recent agreements between Ghana and China include a series of agreements amounting to some $66 million for the completion of the James Town rehabilitation port complex.
“The initiative is part of plans of government to see to the revival of that part of Accra that has fallen into significant decline over the years.”
According to the President, the completion of that project “will make such a large impact of the lives of the people in that part of the country.”
The remainder of the amount, the President said, would be used for the completion of the next phase of the University of Health and Allied Sciences.
The President emphasised that Ghana and China would continue to enjoy very strong relations at all fronts.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, in a citation read in honour of H.E. Sun Baohong, also acknowledged the tremendous achievements in bilateral relations between the two countries during her tour of duty.
Key among them, she said, are the promotion of high-level exchanges, which saw a number of reciprocal visits of high-level officials of both countries, as well as enhancement in economic and trade co-operations.
She recalled, for example, that the bilateral volume of trade between Ghana and China increased from $5.6 billion in 2014 to more than $6.6 billion in 2017.
Additionally, China’s registered investment projects in Ghana increased from 691 in 2014 to 814 by the end of 2017.
H.E. Sun Baohong, on her part, said China-Ghana co-operation is expected to boom with a number of major projects to kick-off, among which are the expansion of the Tema Port and the oil exploration in the Volta Basin.
She also mentioned that China supports other government initiatives such the ‘One District, One Factory’, ‘One Village, One Dam’, and ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’.
She was particularly grateful to the President and the people of Ghana for making her tour of duty in the country a success.
“I came to Ghana with hopes and dreams, and I leave the country with friendship and honour,” she stated.