Greece sees gold opportunity in CIIE
As President Xi Jinping pays a state visit to Greece today, Greek companies are pleased with the many deals they have made at the CIIE.
Greece was a guest of honor country at the expo, and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was among the world leaders who attended the opening of the event.
He also opened a Greek-Chinese business forum in Shanghai ahead of the trade fair, praising Chinese investment in Greece when others feared.
“China has been investing in Greece in times when other countries shied away,” he said in the opening speech.
“The investment by COSCO in the port of Piraeus is an example of how an important Chinese company was bold enough to invest in an important Greek infrastructure project, at a time when Greece was considered ‘uninvestable’ by many other countries.”
The business forum, titled “China-Greece: A New Era in Economic Cooperation,” was part of the state visit by the prime minister. The one-day event not only saw high-ranking officials and corporate representations from both sides citing success stories and addressing concerns, but also led to B2B meetings between 93 representatives from 62 Greek companies with 132 Chinese reps from 213 companies.
One success story is the operation of the port of Piraeus, in which China’s COSCO Shipping has been involved for a decade. The Greek government recently approved its new master plan with additional investment. Mitsotakis visited the company’s headquarters after the forum.
The meetings covered sections including energy, tourism, shipping, construction, pharmaceuticals and food and beverages, among others.
The prime minister also announced the first direct flight between Shanghai and Athens to start in 2020, operated by Juneyao Airlines, a sign of more potentials in the cooperation. It coincides with Greece’s ambition to bring in 500,000 Chinese tourists by 2021, nearly three-folds from 180,000 last year.
He showed confidence in the recovery of Greek economy, projecting the growth to be nearly 3 percent next year.
“As Greece is on track for a strong recovery, we are absolutely confident that we are heading towards a new and promising chapter in Greek-Chinese economic co-operation,” he said.
“Now is the time to take advantage of all the opportunities that Greece has to offer. There has been no better time to write a new chapter in Greek-Chinese economic relations.”