The People’s Republic of China has opened a visa application centre in Ghana’s capital Accra to promote trade and economic growth between the two countries, as trade between the two countries reached US$10.27 billion in 2022.
Speaking at the launch, Lu Kun, the Chinese ambassador to Ghana, said the opening of the centre signified a new chapter towards deepening bilateral trade between the two countries.
“In recent years, under the strategic guidance of the leadership and the joint efforts of President Xi Jinping and President Nana Akufo-Addo, China-Ghana bilateral relations have continued to deepen, founded on mutual trust and close cooperation in various fields,” he said.
China, which is the second largest economy in the world is Ghana’s biggest trading partner and foreign investment source.
Its trade volume with Ghana was US$10.27 billion in 2022, against US$9.57 billion recorded in 2021.
The ambassador said since China adjusted and optimised COVID-19 policies at the beginning of 2023, there had been a sharp increase in the number of visa applicants to the country for trade and business purposes.
Kun said: “I believe more Ghanaian citizens will be interested in visiting China in the days to come,” hence the establishment of the visa application Centre.
He pledged the Chinese Embassy’s commitment to working together with the Centre to provide better services to all applicants and to ensure that it contributed to the development of bilateral personnel exchanges and China-Ghana relations.
Mavis Nkansah Boadu, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, described the establishment of the centre as a significant milestone in the bilateral relations between Ghana and China.
She said the new move between Ghana and China “reflects the increasingly strong ties between our countries and our deepening cooperation in various fields, be it trade, investment, infrastructural development, culture, and education”.
She said the Centre would be crucial in facilitating increased tourism, business ventures, academic collaborations, and cultural exchange between the two countries, through streamlining visa application processes in a more efficient and convenient manner.
On the part of Ghana, the Deputy Minister said the government would be rolling out a new visa application system with enhanced security features, including machine readable visa hardware system to enhance travel into the country.
Xu Yeping, the Deputy General Manager of the Visa Department, CTG Travel Services Corporation Limited, said they would work to ensure that visa acquisition was made easy for applicants.