News:Europe

Greek PM pandering to Chinese investors

Piraeus Port Authority ceo Captain Fu Chengqiu and Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras flank a panda in Thessaloniki Piraeus Port Authority ceo Captain Fu Chengqiu and Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras flank a panda in Thessaloniki

China is a power with a strategic plan and Greece can only benefit from bilateral cooperation, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during a press conference in Thessaloniki 9 September. The Greek leader commented on Greece’s strategic partner, expressing his admiration for the strategy of “a strong and peaceful country".

As the honored country of the 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), Greece’s top annual trade exhibition, China was in the spotlight of the fair’s opening over the weekend. China is one of “the few countries with such strength, having a strategy, a plan, knowing what she wants,” said Tsipras.

He said Greece is thirsty for foreign investments and is open to discuss collaboration projects with all interested sides, as it can only benefit from investments such as the one Chinese made at the port of Piraeus in recent years, he said.

“Greece is a member of the eurozone, of Europe, a pillar of the European policy thanks to its history and culture, and in parallel a country which can communicate like no other with Russia, China and the Arab world. Only a few countries are in position to do this,” said Tsipras

“Greece must become the country, and this is our vision for our foreign policy, which will certainly have roots in the eurozone, in the heart of Europe, but will also extend its branches to the East and the North and the South,” he said.

Tasos Tzikas, president of TIF said more than 200 Chinese firms are showing at this year’s event in a bid to bolster their presence in Greece. “China places great importance on investments in Greece and this year, we have put emphasis on the cooperation between Chinese and Greek businesses,” said Tzikas.

China’s delegation totals about 500 people, including several ministers but contrary to reports, it was not be led by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang due to next month’s Communist Party congress.

On the sidelines of the fair, representatives of 25 national news agencies from Greece, China, the Balkans, Central and Southern Europe, and Russia affirmed September 10 their commitment to join efforts to strengthen ties between the countries along the Belt and Road.

Organised under the auspices of Greek President. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the New Silk Road forum was attended by high-ranking Greek government officials and prominent journalists who focused on coordinating the cooperation of news agencies in order to boost their commercial, cultural and trade ties, to promote growth and increase investments along the “New Silk Road.”

Posted 14 September 2017

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David Glass

Greece Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

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