Dear Minister Adonis Georgiadis, Ambassador Zhang Qiyue, Ambassador George, friends from companies and financial institutions, everyone! Unfortunately, due to the epidemic, I did not go to Greece with our commission to meet with the Minister at the beginning of this year. I just heard the Minister's speech on Sino-Greek relations, economic and trade cooperation, including the epidemic. I am very grateful and agree. We also fully agree with the suggestions for the next step.
First of all, congratulations on the positive results achieved by Greece in responding to the new crown epidemic. The epidemic has no borders and is a common enemy of mankind. It requires our international community to work together to cope with it. Health and safety must also contribute to the global public health safety cause. At the same time, the Chinese government has issued a series of measures in a timely manner to encourage and support the orderly resumption of production and production of enterprises, and coordinate the promotion of epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, and have achieved positive results. China's economy shows strong resilience and great potential. We are confident and capable to maintain steady economic and social development. We will continue to carry out pragmatic cooperation with countries including Greece while doing a good job in epidemic prevention and control.
There is no distance between each other, and thousands of miles can be neighbors. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Greece, the two ancient civilizations have upheld the principles of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit to develop bilateral relations, understand each other, support each other, and help each other. Cooperating with Greece, Greece is regarded as a good friend and partner in the EU. Especially in November last year, President Xi Jinping successfully visited Greece, which brought new vitality to the cooperation between the two ancient countries.
In May 2017, since the first “Belt and Road” International Cooperation Summit Forum, China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Greek Ministry of Development and Investment signed a three-year cooperation plan in key areas of the two countries, and established a steering committee cooperation mechanism. So far, three meetings have been held. Especially in October last year, Your Excellency successfully visited China and convened the third meeting of the steering committee. After that, the companies of both sides showed strong willingness to cooperate, and the two countries have made significant progress in key areas of cooperation, showing great potential. For example, the annual throughput of Piraeus Port operated by COSCO SHIPPING has increased from 880,000 TEUs in 2010 to 5.8 million TEUs in 2019. The world ranking jumped from 93rd to 32nd, and China’s indicators returned to the world. Among the top ten shipping hubs, 13,000 jobs created directly and indirectly have become good examples of cooperation between the two countries.
In addition, China International Power Grid’s investment in the Greek State Grid Corporation has also had a positive economic and social impact. Now we see that more and more Chinese companies are tracking and participating in cooperative projects in various fields in Greece, and related consultations are being conducted in an orderly manner We are also very happy to see that China-Greece's three-year cooperation plan has achieved some early gains. We also hope that the two sides will use this forum as an opportunity to continue to strengthen information sharing and communication and promote cooperation in key areas to achieve more substance. Sexual progress.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, I would like to make three points for China-Greek cooperation in key areas.
1. Promote practical cooperation between the two parties based on the list of key projects.
In the new round of three-year cooperation plan, the two sides agreed to make the five areas of transportation, energy, communications, information and communication, manufacturing and R&D, and finance the key areas for expanding and deepening cooperation between the two countries. When President Xi Jinping visited Greece in November last year, the heads of state of the two countries witnessed the signing of the third round of key project lists, injecting strong impetus into the practical cooperation of key projects between the two countries. The list of key projects includes the seven projects that China is advancing and the eight projects that Greece hopes China should pay attention to. Many Chinese companies are very interested in the new projects proposed by Greece and are actively docking with Greek partners. We hope that we can continue to provide active support in the process of actively implementing existing key projects. And welcome to put forward more feasible and concrete project cooperation suggestions. The National Development and Reform Commission will guide relevant enterprises to actively study them.
2. Second, better play the role of financial institutions in escort. Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China have set up branches in Greece, and China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank through the Greek Working Group are also providing effective financing support for specific project cooperation. We encourage the financial institutions of the three parties to think about practical measures and provide practical solutions to provide support for project cooperation and promote the implementation of projects as soon as possible.
3. Further play the important role of the China-Europe Continental Express. The China-Europe Continental Express starts from China's coastal port groups, reaches the port of Suez through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, and then reaches the core region of Europe through the railway transportation of Greece Macedonia and Serbia. Through the China-Europe Land and Sea Express, China's cargo transportation The European hinterland time is about 26 days, which is much shorter than the traditional shipping by 7-11 days. After several years of active efforts by COSCO Shipping and countries along the route, including Greece, the China-Europe Continental Express has continuously made new and important progress, and has increasingly become a new channel for cargo transportation between China and Europe.
In the face of this new crown epidemic, COSCO SHIPPING actively adopted innovative services as measures. From January to April, the express line completed 35,000 TEUs, a 52% year-on-year increase in traffic, and 604 trains, 53% year-on-year. The express line has played an active role in ensuring the stability of China-EU trade and logistics supply chain. China is willing to work with Greece and other countries along the line to accelerate the upgrading of infrastructure along the line, improve the level of customs clearance, and reduce the cost of customs clearance. We welcome the active participation of companies from both sides and hope that Chinese companies will strengthen their support for the express line and give full play to the important support role of the express line for China-EU trade and transportation.
His Excellency Minister, Ambassador and colleagues, the successful cooperation experience between China and Greece fully proves that the “Belt and Road” initiative is in line with the development strategy of Greece. Development has great potential, and the strategic connection has achieved obvious results. The main business operations in Greece Working companies and financial institutions have also participated in online forums today. They have a strong interest and strong desire to develop in Greece, and they also play an important role. Taking this online forum today is a good form and an innovation. In the future, both parties should be able to strengthen information and policy exchanges on key projects in the five areas. Both parties can continue to consider various forms of online and offline seminars and promotional meetings to promote and promote key projects. Facilitate investment and create convenient conditions for cooperation between enterprises. According to the agreement between the two parties, the fourth meeting of the cooperation plan between China and Greece in the key areas from 2020 to 2022 will be held in Greece. We look forward to seeing you in Athens and the Minister, the two ambassadors and the entrepreneur friends after the epidemic. More practical results have been achieved through bilateral cooperation.
Today is the first time I have met with friends in such a format since I became the Director of the Department of Foreign Investment. I am also very happy that we will have more opportunities to do a good job together in the future. Thank you all!