Greece seeks to extend ties with China

first_imgOn his five-day trip to China this week, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussed the real potential to boost bilateral cooperation between the two nations. During talks on Monday, the Greek PM highlighted the potential for Greece to be a gateway for Chinese products into the European market, reports Kathimerini.The talks follow the April 8 agreement for Chinese shipping giant COSCO to purchase a 67 per cent stake in Piraeus Port, which Tsipras says is “helping the country stand on its feet” and turn a new page after years of financial uncertainty.“We are sending a strong message to the international markets that Greece is decisively entering a new phase,” said the Prime Minister during a business forum in Beijing, as representatives of COSCO and privatisation fund TAIPED officially signed the port deal’s final agreement.According to CCTV English, Premier Keqiang added that he hoped together they would shape Piraeus Port into a world-class port and logistics centre of the region.The agreement with COSCO was one of nine to be discussed during the visit, and covered increased bilateral cooperation in the areas of tourism, science and technology, investments and cultural programs.Proposals put forward by Greece included Chinese participation in tenders for the Thriasio Freight Center and Crete’s Kasteli Airport, including shipyard building in Greece; investment in Greece’s banking sector; assistance to create a research and development centre in Greece; along with investment in tourism infrastructure, and the introduction of direct flights between Athens and Beijing.Expanding Greek agricultural and food exports to China is also on the cards, a prospect Keqiang said the largely exporting nation would be open to “as along as they are quality goods”.Further cementing the success of the trip, talks have already commenced regarding the creation of a bilateral committee to help oversee progress on each agreement. The two leaders weren’t only on the same page when it came to bilateral cooperation however, but also on matters of style. “I didn’t manage to export tie-less dressing to Europe but I did to China,” said Tsipras, after observing the Chinese leader also opted for a casual approach to the suit. A good omen perhaps. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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