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China Hands Over New Foreign Affairs Office To Govt   
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The front view of the new office complex
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The Chinese government handed over a US$16-million five-storey office complex to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration at a ceremony in Accra Monday.

The building, which has 141 offices, a 300-capacity conference room and other mini-conference halls, a library, a canteen, among other facilities, becomes the new permanent office complex for the ministry.

The facility, which forms part of an interest-free loan agreement under already existing trade relations between the governments of Ghana and China, was constructed within 17 months by the Yanjian Group, a Chinese construction company.

To enable the re-location of the ministry into the building at the earliest opportune time, the Chinese government is equipping the complex with free furniture, office supplies and equipment to the tune of US$1.3 million.

The construction of the new facility became necessary when, in 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building was razed down by fire, a situation which led to the re-location of the ministry to the Flagstaff House, the present seat of government.

The sector Minister, Ms Hanna Tetteh, who received the keys to the building, said the construction of the edifice had solidified relations between Ghana and China.

“Indeed, Ghana and China have enjoyed very friendly and fruitful relations since 1960, during which time Ghana has benefitted from various forms of financial and technical assistance from the Chinese government,” she added.

She mentioned some of the aspects of Chinese support to Ghana as the National Theatre, the Afife Irrigation Project, the University of Ghana Drama Studio, the Dangme East District Hospital, among others.

Ms Tetteh said considering the excellent political relations and the increasing economic transactions between the two countries, “it was not surprising that the Chinese government came to Ghana’s aid” to house the ministry.

She said the government had given priority to the development of infrastructure in the country because of its positive impact on economic development, saying the new office complex demonstrated the government of Ghana’s commitment to the modernisation and overhauling of governance structures.

The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gong Jianzhong, who handed over the structure to Ms Tetteh, said Ghana was one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to establish diplomatic relations with China and that over the past 53 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties “our traditional friendship has endured the vicissitudes of international situation and our cooperation in a wide range of areas has grown from strength to strength and we have always supported each other and learned from each other”.

He said today China and Ghana had cooperation in a variety of fields and “our fruitful cooperation has brought about tangible benefits to our two peoples”.

According to the Ambassador, China and Ghana were two developing countries that were endeavouring to improve on the socio-economic development and improvement of the peoples’ livelihoods.

He said while Ghanaians were committed to building a better Ghana, the Chinese were devoting themselves to building a well-off society in an all-round way, adding that China and Ghana were on the path of developing forward.

He added that both countries were ready to work together to enhance mutual-beneficial cooperation for the common development and prosperity of the two countries.
Source: Daily Graphic

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