Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia[/caption] The Vice President of the Republic, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has indicated government’s determination to engage with companies and countries interested in providing high quality infrastructure in Ghana, especially in the construction and manufacturing sectors. Such companies would be more than welcome to set up and operate in Ghana as part of the Akufo-Addo government’s industrialisation plan, Dr Bawumia has assured. The Vice President made the commitment when a high level delegation led by H.E Suematsu Shinsuke, Minister of State for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MILT) for Japan paid a working visit to him at the Flagstaff House on Thursday. Mr. Suematsu Shinsuke was in the country for the Ghana-Japan High Quality Infrastructure Conference organised by the Japan-Africa Infrastructure Development Association (JAIDA) in collaboration with Government of Ghana, the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG), the Association of Road Contractors (ASROC) and the Progressive Road Contractors Association (PROCA). The conference provided a platform for information exchange and opinion sharing about infrastructure needs and business development activities in Africa between member companies. Representatives of 26 Japanese companies engaged in construction, consulting, engineering and manufacturing, trading, finance and insurance attended the conference. Addressing the delegation made up of businessmen and industrialists, Vice President Dr. Bawumia emphasised government’s desire to have a relationship with the international community driven by mutual trade. He recalled the long-standing relationship between Ghana and Japan, and called for even greater ties between the two countries. “The bond between Ghana and Japan goes a long way and it is an unbreakable bond. Mention can be made of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research which was established in 1979 as a gift from the Japanese government in memory of Dr Hideyo Noguchi to Ghana from its inception. The Institute has maintained the high quality and ethical standards in the conduct of research” he noted. The Vice President also recognised the contribution of Japan to Ghana’s development over the years, and expressed government’s appreciation for the Japan government’s resumption of the grant of highly concessional loans after a 15 year break. “We would like to thank Japan for the assistance it has given and continues to give to Ghana in areas like infrastructure and health, such as the provision of CHPS compounds. Mention can also be made of the construction of a new bridge on the Volta River to make movement between the Eastern and Volta regions easier, and the maritime assistance to the navies of countries in the Gulf of Guinea. “As well, I am confident that the Ghana –Japan parliamentary league will deepen the cooperation between our two countries.” H.E Mr Suematsu Shinsuke, congratulated the new government on its electoral victory in the 2016 polls and assured Vice President Bawumia of Japan’s readiness to deepen ties and help the Akufo-Addo government achieve its objectives. He was accompanied to the Flagstaff House by Kaibori Yasuaki, Deputy Minister for Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MILT); Mori Takehiro, Counsellor for Global Strategies at MILT; Miyamoto Yoichi, President of Japan Africa Infrastructure Development Association (JAIDA); H.E Yoshimura Kaoru, Japan Ambassador to Ghana; and H.E Parker Allotey, Ghana ambassador to Japan. The heads of a number of companies including Fujita Corporation, Sakai Heavy Industries Ltd, Nihon Sekkei Inc, Shimizu Corporation, Taisei Corporation, Sojitz Corporation, Toa Corporation, JGC Corporation, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC and Nippon Koei Co., Ltd were also in attendance.