There is “mature interest” among China’s financial institutions in launching activities in Greece, Chinese Ambassador in Athens Zhang Qiyue informed Government Vice-President and Economy and Development Minister Yiannis Dragasakis in a meeting on Thursday, according to a ministry announcement.
The ambassador and the minister both reaffirmed the strategic nature of Greek-Chinese relations and repeated the commitment of the leadership of the two countries for close cooperation on all levels.
Dragasakis noted that Greece’s exit from the programmes meant it had a greater degree of freedom to design policy and marked the start of a new phase whose goals were economic growth, social cohesion and an upgraded regional, European and global role for the country.
Outlining the government’s growth strategy, he said this gave rise to many potential areas of Greek-Chinese cooperation in the context of Greece’s participation in the One Belt One Road initiative.
Zhang noted the improvement in economic conditions and the new prospects emerging for Greece while stressed the importance of COSCO’s investment in Piraeus port, which it aimed to make the foremost port in the Mediterranean. Combined with the increased tourist traffic from China, she added, this would create the conditions for greater penetration of Greek products in the Chinese market. The Piraeus investment also acted as a catalyst for increasing Chinese investment interest in Greece, resulting in specific investments, she said.
Dragasakis expressed Greece’s satisfaction for the completion in 2018 of procedures for its participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, while also asking China to support Greece’s participation in the BRICS New Development Bank.
The meeting concluded with a decision to set up a working group made up of embassy and ministry staff to speed up bilateral cooperation and promote matters of mutual interest, while Zhang invited Dragasakis to visit Beijing for the upcoming revision of a three-year cooperation framework between the ministry and the China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).