Finance Minister in China for crucial debt restructuring negotiations

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is expected to arrive in Beijing today to meet Chinese officials to discuss a proposed restructuring of Ghana’s debt, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.

“The talks are expected to focus on ways to reduce Ghana’s debt burden and secure additional financing assurances for the country’s economic programme,” the source said, asking not to be named because the talks are private.

The trip was postponed to the end of March because it coincided with the National People’s Congress of China meeting in early March 2023.

The Minister of Finance has already held meetings with officials of Exim Bank, China, in Ghana, all in the line of re-profiling the country’s debt to China.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in an earlier meeting with the German Finance Minister, said China has committed to bilateral negotiations.

In view of that, he is hopeful a deal can be reached to enable Ghana to present its case before the IMF Board.

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 $1.7billion of debt.

The government’s current priority is to secure IMF’s board approval, with the fine details of debt treatment operations to follow later, the source added.

The meetings will take place on Thursday and Friday. Reuters

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