China, ECOWAS to hold trade forum in Ghana

China is relentless in its efforts to wrap its arms around Africa, and it is doing so this time by organising a trade forum in Ghana with the west African sub-regional bloc the Economic Commission for West Africa (ECOWAS).

ECOWAS announced the forum with China in a press release Wednesday February 29, 2012. This will be the second between the bloc and China. The first forum was hosted by China September  23 and 26, 2008.

It said the forum to be held in Accra, Ghana March 20 and 21, 2012 will allow private sector operators to seek to develop partnerships in six key areas mainly; infrastructure development – specifically roads, railways, housing, construction and transportation.

Other areas for collaboration, the statement said are in the sectors of power, mining, agriculture, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and information and communication  technology (ICT).

The press release indicates that representatives of six prominent Chinese institutions, including the Central  People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, the China Council for  the Promotion of International Trade and the China-Africa Development Fund will attend this second forum in Accra.

It emphasised that the Economic and Trade Forum seeks to maximize the inflow of Foreign Direct  Investment (FDI) from China into ECOWAS countries; attract long-term concessionary funds for developing public infrastructure; promote ECOWAS-China  trade and, by extension, intra-ECOWAS trade; and extend the global reach of financial institutions in West Africa.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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