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Ghana and Japan have agreed to work towards strengthening economic and social partnerships between the two countries.

The commitment was mutually expressed by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta of Ghana and Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso of Japan in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Minister Ofori-Atta, who is leading a delegation of Ghanaian government and private sector officials to Japan, urged his Japanese counterparts to consider ways of deepening mutually beneficial arrangements that would enable both countries further advance their economic interests.

“As you continue to work towards developing the Arc of Freedom and Prosperity which you speak about, we in Ghana would like you to look to Africa and indeed Ghana as a key point on that arc. Our recently mutually beneficial investment and trade arrangements ought to be enhanced to a point where Ghana can become a hub in Africa for this purpose,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

The Ghanaian Finance Minister further offered Ghana’s commitment to complete final negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Ghana and Japan and use it as a tool for bolstering the Ghana-Japan partnership.

On his part, Taro Aso, who is also the Finance Minister of Japan, expressed Japan’s delight at Ghana’s improving macro-economic situation and called on the new administration to continue with efforts to further improve and diversify the economy.
He expressed Japan’s willingness to explore the setting up of a special joint working committee to determine ways by which the cooperation between the two countries can be improved.

Present in that meeting were Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr Akwasi Amoako-Atta, Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen; Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afari; Deputy Minister for Health, Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu; Deputy Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and Deputy Minister for Trade, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah.

Earlier in the day, some officials from the Ghana side engaged officials of the Bank of Japan on best practices to improve the regulation of financial services as well as techniques that have assisted the Japanese economy maintain low inflation and interest rates.

Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari, Deputy Governor of the BOG, later told pressmen that the ideas exchanged would be adapted to the Ghana situation to further deepen the efforts of the Bank of Ghana.

Ghana and Japan have collaborated since the 1960s on Health research, Development assistance and Trade. In 2016 Ghana exported over $592 million worth of goods to Japan and imported close to $600 million worth of goods from that country.

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