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Mahama welcoming the Mr Haruki Hayashi and his delegation to the Flagstaff House
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President John Dramani Mahama has welcomed the over-subscription of the country's Eurobond and said the government will use the money to manage and grow the economy.

He said the money would be used to reduce the budget deficit, lower interest rate and inflation.

Ghana's second bid to raise $1 billion from the international capital market was over-subscribed by $1.2 billion.

The first bond of $750 million was raised in 2007, with a coupon rate of 8.5 per cent and a maturity period of 10 years.

The current bond of $1 billion has a maturity period of 10 years, with a coupon rate of 7.875 per cent which will be paid semi-annually.

Commenting on the over-subscription of the bond yesterday, President Mahama said the money would support the government to ensure an average annual economic growth of eight per cent.

He was speaking during a courtesy call on him by a 23-member Japanese business delegation.

The delegation was made up of members of the Japanese chambers of commerce and industry in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The delegation is in the country to explore business opportunities as a follow-up to the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in Japan in June, 2013.

At that conference, the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Shinzo Abe, announced a $32-billion package to support infrastructure development, economic growth and human development in Africa over the next five years.

The business mission

Members of the delegation had already held meetings with some ministers of state and chief directors of the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Speaking generally on the economy, President Mahama said it was doing well and that the government was committed to creating a conducive environment for the private sector.

He said, for instance, that the government would reduce bureaucracy, facilitate the registration of businesses and improve immigration.

President Mahama said Ghana had investment opportunities in the areas of oil and gas exploration, transportation and energy.

He said the government had started work on the expansion of ports and allowed for private participation in the energy generation.
The President said the visit by the Japanese delegation was an attestation of Japan's commitment to strengthen partnership with Ghana and Africa.

He reiterated Ghana's commitment to strengthen trade and diplomatic ties with Japan.

In his remarks, the Head of the delegation, Mr Haruki Hayashi, said the delegation chose Ghana as its first port of call because of the favourable information it got on Ghana as an emerging economy and stable country.

He said Ghana was the gateway to West Africa and so the delegation wanted to ride on the country's influence in the sub-region.

Mr Hayashi said members of the delegation were impressed by the stability of the country and the level of transparency and openness of public officials with whom they had held meetings.

The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Naoto Nikai, said a technical team from Japan was expected in Ghana in August 2013 to do assessment for the construction of a new suspension bridge across the Lower Volta River at Atimpoku.

The project will be funded by a Japanese loan.
Source: Musah Yahaya Jafaru/D-Graphic

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