President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has indicated that he would during his tenure, push for the deepening of relations and bilateral ties between Ghana and Korea.
“As government embarks on an ambitious social and economic programme to transform the country on the model of the ‘Asian Tigers’ we need to deepen relations”.
According to the President, both countries were birthed around the same time, yet Korea had joined the league of advanced countries whilst Ghana remained struggling, insisting that economic exchanges between the two nations would be mutually beneficial for growth and development.
President Akufo-Addo gave the indication when the outgoing South Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Lyeo Woon-Ki called at the Flagstaff House on Friday to bid him farewell after a two and a half years duty tour of Ghana
“Many of us see your country as an inspiration of how, with organisation, determination, hard work and creativity, a poor nation can, within a generation, transform itself to become one of the leading economies of the world.
“It continues to be a beacon for us, because we all know about the parallel periods of birth of Ghana and South Korea, and, yet, Korea is one of the advanced economies, and we are still struggling,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that Ghana was particularly interested in getting Korean industries to berth in Ghana, as a basis for producing things not only for Ghana but for the regional and continental markets.
He noted that as Ghana geared up to institutionalise the continental free trade area, there was a great opportunity to develop the country’s industrial and manufacturing base, and Korea’s involvement in the exercise “will be mutually beneficial for all of us.”
The President thanked Mr Lyeo for the work done during his tour of duty, which amongst others, led to the signing of a framework of agreement between both countries, enabling Ghana obtain a concessionary loan facility of 200 million dollars from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDF).
“We know how committed you have been to developing and deepening the relations between our two countries. And, that is why Ghanaians will always have a very fond memory of you as ambassador. We know very well that, in you, Ghana has a committed friend.
“Ghana-Korea relationship would grow and flourish, and it will be as a result of the work that you have done here. You go back to Korea with your head held high. You have done a great job for your country,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Mr Lyeo expressed confidence in Ghana’s future because “President Akufo-Addo has great vision for the development of the country.”
“The President has a strong commitment to enhancing our bilateral relationship. In a sense, I feel very sad leaving this country, but I also confident that our bilateral relations will be much stronger in the coming year,” he said.