Ghana and South Korea has decided to strengthen the current and existing relations between the two countries for the optimum benefit of their respective citizens.
Leaders of the two countries made the commitment when the South Korean Prime Minister, Han Duck-Soo arrived in Ghana yesterday to begin a three day state visit to the country.
At a meeting at the Jubilee House (presidency), President Akufo-Addo said that he is a big admirer of the development story of Korea and he believes that the Korean story is a model that Ghana could emulate in her quest for rapid development.”
“I think that the relations that we have had that covers economic ties have been a strong one. We are very appreciative of the assistance, contributions that the Korean government and Korean institutions have made towards the development of our country.
“I believe that so far, there is nearly a billion dollars’ worth of funds that have been committed by your country to us and there is a new arrangement for another billion dollars’ worth of cooperation that we are looking forward to” President Akufo-Addo said.
“So I don’t exaggerate when I say that you are one of the most important partners, both trade relations, investment cooperation as well as the partnership in the international arena” he added.
Apart from that President Akufo-Addo said Ghana was bent on developing a strong nuclear energy sector and believed that Korean expertise would be needed in that area of interest.
He therefore noted that after the visit of Prime Minister Duck – Soo, Ghana’s Ambassador to Korea, will liaise with the relevant institutions in Ghana and Korea to kick-start the process of cooperation in that sector.
In the area of infrastructure, President Akufo-Addo said he is looking forward to the assistance of Korea to help construct a state of the art bridge over the Volta lake that will link the main land to the Afram Plains.
“The Afram Plains is potentially, a very lucrative and fertile area of Ghana which is beyond the Volta Region and is the main river that runs through our country. The development of the plains will be accelerated if we are able to build a strong bridge across it”, he emphasised.
“I have been to your country and I have seen the technology and the work that you have done as far as bridge building is concerned and I will particularly be interested in seeing to what extent we can find an understanding as to how we can develop Korean assistance for the development of that bridge” the President added.
On his part, the South Korea leader, Han Duck-Soo noted that 45years after Ghana established diplomatic relations with Korea, his country stands ready to take the cooperation that exist between African countries and for that matter Ghana to the next level.
“Korea would like to renew our relationship and we would like to contribute to the cooperation with the countries in this region (Africa) so that Korea will work together with countries on the African continent so that our cooperation will bring fruits and results together so that we can prosper together”, was how he put it.
Ghana and South Korea established diplomatic relations as far back as 1978, have pledged to step up those relations and to take bilateral and economic arrangements between them to the next level.
He also indicated that the new President of South Korea, Yoon Suk-Yeol, is keen on reviving the “Africa – Korea Forum”.
The first one was held in 2006.
President Akufo-Addo welcomed the decision of the Korean leader and noted that he is looking forward to the fine details of the forum very shortly.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent