Ofori-Atta To Visit China For Debt Support Talks: Asian Giant Holds Majority Of Country’s External Bonds
- Ghana will soon visit China for talks about its inability to honour debt obligations to the Asian giant
- Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta said on Monday, February 20 that an entourage will visit China by the end of this week for the talks
- The finance minister has disclosed that the talks are important because, amid Ghana's financial and economic challenges, China represents about a third of the $5.7 billion loan
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Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta is billed to visit China this week for talks over Ghana's inability honour its debt obligations to the Asian giant.
The minister disclosed on Monday, February 20, 2023, that the visit is critical because China holds a chunk of Ghana's external bonds.
"We will be visiting China by the end of the week to really discuss how they come into the envelope as quickly as possible...China represents about a third of the $5.7 billion loan and so it is important that we engage them," the finance minister told Citi News.
Ghana suspends external debt payments
Last year, Ghana was compelled to temporarily suspended payment of part of its external debt, including Eurobonds, as the country struggles to make enough money, a situation blamed on the Russian-Ukraine war and Covid-19.
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As part of a $3 billion loan the finance minister is begging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to advance to the country over a three-year period, Ghana had to restructure its domestic and foreign debts, including those held by China.
Ghana owes a whopping GH¢382.7 billion in external debts, according to the Bank of Ghana's financial summary released in 2023. The external debt alone represents about 62.1% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The country is currently facing an economic and financial challenge which has partly caused inflation to rocket 56.3% and also increased the cost of living and doing business.
Domestic debt holders lament uncertainties
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh reported recently that individual bondholders, who are part of the domestic lenders to Ghana, kicked against their inclusion in the Domestic Debt Exchange programme.
They said there are inherent uncertainties that they will be plunged into if the government proceeds with the programme in its current form.
After weeks of agitation, they got their investments to be excluded from the programme.
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