Relations between Greece and China are marking another milestone with a high level Greek delegation due to visit Shanghai next month -- where Greece will be the honored country at one of China's signature trade fairs -- underscoring the close commercial ties between the two countries.
The delegation, to be led by Greek Prime Kyriakos Mitsotakis, coincides with the China International Import Exhibition Nov. 5-10, a Chinese government initiative to open its market to foreign exporters amid growing protectionism in global trade. More than 3,000 enterprises, from more than 150 countries and regions, are expected to participate in this year’s exhibition.
Over the next decade and-a-half, imports to China are expected to rise by $40 trillion, making the Chinese market a high priority for Greek exporters. But China has also been a major investor in Greece.
Through Chinese investment, Greece’s biggest port – the Port of Piraeus – has been transformed into one of the leading container ports in the Mediterranean. And earlier this month, Greece gave the greenlight to a further €611.8 million investment master plan by Chinese shipping giant Cosco to upgrade and modernize the port’s infrastructure, including new cruise shipping facilities, hotels and warehouses.
Other Chinese companies, like telecommunications equipment manufacturers Huawei or ZTE, have set up European production and distribution facilities in Greece, while a number of Chinese companies – from the state electrical grid operator, to mining and energy company Shenhua – have invested in the country. In the past few years, the number of individual Chinese coming to Greece, both as tourists and as property investors, has grown rapidly.
Reflecting the ever growing relationship between our two countries, in November 2017, the two countries signed the joint Greece-China Action Plan 2017-2019 outlining areas of cooperation in the transport, energy and telecommunications sectors. Earlier this year, the two countries extended the Action Plan to 2022 and the scope of cooperation was further expanded.
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