Ghana considers joining Asian bank – Spio-Garbrah

The Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Ekow Spio – Garbrah has told Citi Business News that Ghana may consider joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) set up by the Chinese government.

According to the Trade Minister conditions and opportunities for the AIIB may be better and flexible than that of Bretton Woods Institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

China has attracted some 57 countries including Britain, Sweden, Portugal, Sweden and Saudi Arabia to join the AIIB for development projects. But the USA has criticized certain aspects of the project and distanced itself.

Though some economists have cautioned government not to be in a hast to join the AIIB Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Ekow Spio Gabarah in an interview with Citi Business News said there is some merits and benefits in the government joining the Asian Bank.

“Well I haven’t seen the details of what the bank will do and what projects it will fund and how much the bank’s lending portfolio will be for Africa and what kind of interest rate it will be.

Generally speaking going by what experience Ghana has by being a number of international financial institutions such as the World bank group or the African development bank, both of which I have had the privilege of working for, I think there is some merit in considering joining such a development bank as the Asian bank which is expected not to have the same kind of conditionality’s that have applied to lending from the Western world.”

The Trade and Industry Minister Dr. Ekow Spio Gabarah believes that the Chinese does not have the kind of rigidity that the World bank and the IMF come with when they give support to African countries.

Meanwhile Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah who admitted that Ghana has over borrowed resulting in the IMF programme said Ghana joining the Asian Bank should attract private Asian equity especially in agro processing to expand the economy.

The Asian bank was proposed by China in 2013 and launched at a ceremony in Beijing in October 2014.

It is expected to have its Articles of Agreement (AOA) finalized and opened for signature by Prospective Founding Members (PFM) which currently stands at 57 countries from June 2015.

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