Greece officials expect closer ties with China

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Greece wants to advance the successful mutually beneficial partnership with China, Greek officials and ship owners said during a webinar hosted in Athens on Friday on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

"We can leave behind the COVID-19 lockdown and further our cooperation. We want new partnerships between Greek and Chinese companies. We are sure the best of our relationship is ahead of us," Gregory Dimitriadis, Secretary-General for International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the online discussion organized by the Hellenic Chinese Chamber.

The official suggested exploring more potential opportunities in sectors such as shipping and tourism, the two traditionally strong engines of the Greek economy, as well as many other fields.

With a strong background of excellent political relations, the two sides have made strides in recent years to deepen economic ties.

COSCO Shipping's investment in Piraeus port over the past decade has changed its image and is praised by many as a shining example of bilateral cooperation in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative as well. Piraeus port now ranks first in the Mediterranean, 4th in Europe and 25th in the world, while expansion and upgrade works continue.

"The Dragon Head of the Silk Road in Europe must continue in all sectors," Vassilis Korkidis, President of Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

"The Sino-Greek partnership was always beneficial to both, there is good communication. The only way to recover is through partnerships and this one with China is successful and can be more successful," shipowner George Pateras, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, stressed.

"Through challenging times, we value the importance of friendship. The pandemic has shown who are the real friends and partners. Our friendship and cooperation now have even stronger foundations. We are very confident our relations will have more fruits to come," Chinese ambassador to Greece Zhang Qiyue said.

"We all have to work together. We have to contribute to efforts to bring peace and friendship between countries. This is the only way to move forward," Andreas Potamianos, President of the Greece-China Association concluded.

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