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Ms Xie Yajing (middle) with the Ghanaian journalists after the meeting
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A Senior Chinese official has asked Chinese businessmen in Ghana to operate within the local laws, warning that anyone who flouts the law should be dealt with.

Xie Yajing, Commercial Counsellor for West Asia and African Department of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, told visiting Ghanaian journalists in Beijing that any businessman who decides to violate the local laws should not be spared.

Ms Yajing said appropriate sanctions should be applied to serve as deterrent to others.

According to the senior government official, much as China would want to encourage its nationals to seek other opportunities outside their home country, it should not be at the expense of the hosts.

“Chinese businesses should abide by the local laws and if they break them they should be dealt with,” she told eight journalists from DAILY GUIDE, Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times, Business and Financial Times, Ghana Television and Metro TV during a visit to her office.

She was reacting to allegations that some Chinese traders and businessmen, with support from their local collaborators, are flooding the Ghanaian market with substandard products at the detriment of the consumers.

She dismissed the perception that products that are brought to Africa are inferior, saying that “there is no difference in the quality of products we produce.

We have only one standard for the products we produce.”

And if anything goes wrong during the design of the product, it is rather the Ghanaian businessman dealing with Chinese company that should be blamed because he must have made certain demands in terms of his home market as to what the people can afford. It is the importer who might have influenced the type of products that are made, she indicated.

She advised any individual, who has a concern, to go to the Chinese Embassy to lodge complaint for appropriate sanction to be applied against the manufacturing company.

When the activities of Chinese retailers and pirates were brought to her notice, she condemned the action and sought for appropriate sanction.

According to Ms Yajing, there are more than 500 Chinese businesses operating in Ghana, especially in the areas of construction, trading, water supply, electricity generation, specifically mentioning the construction of Bui hydro Dam.

In recent times, Ghana has been looking at the direction of China for loans for infrastructural development, including the recent $3billion commercial loan approved by Parliament.

However, she said the money provided to support the Bui Dam for power generation was the largest single preferential loan to be provided by Chinese government to any African country.

The previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, led by President John Agyekum Kufuor secured over $500million loan for the execution of the Bui project on concessionary terms. The project is expected to be completed by 2013, according to the original scheduled.

But in recent times work on the dam had to be stopped because of heavy rains in the area, which caused flooding.

A number of projects, including the Achimota-Ofankor road, Nsawam-Apedwa junction, Job 600 for parliamentarians and the new high court complex, among others, are being undertaken by Chinese contractors.

She said China would continue to strengthen ties with Ghana, stressing that Ghana is one of the most trusted allies in Africa.

She said trade volumes between the countries have increased astronomically though in favour of China, as Ghana only exports raw materials to the Asian nation, the second largest economy in the world.

The journalists are touring China at the invitation of the Chinese government with support from the Embassy in Accra.

Source: Fortune Alimi, Beijing, China

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