Government of Greece – November 4, 2019
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s phrase “I am reluctantly stopping this debate here, but fortunately we will continue it at dinner and in a few days in Athens” echoes the extraordinary atmosphere in which Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with its President China in Shanghai.
During the meeting, the two leaders reaffirmed the bonds of friendship and cooperation that bind the two countries, and referred to areas in which such cooperation could be strengthened and expanded. These include energy, transport, telecommunications, tourism, Greek agricultural products and the “possibility of Greece becoming a logistics center”, as the Chinese President has pointed out.
China’s President proposes expanding co-operation and says it could establish a Greek-Chinese cultural year that will be linked to tourism, with Kyriakos Mitsotakis making a proposal linking Greek shipbuilding in China with benefits for the Greek economy.
“You are right to point out that I have, indeed, only in my fourth month as Prime Minister of Greece to come to China, to lead the Greek business mission for this very important report, to thereby mark the particular importance I attach to the our bilateral relations, ”the Prime Minister stressed, opening his position.
“You have also made many references in your speeches to the proximity of our two cultures, a proximity that has been lost for centuries. But it does, I believe, signify, in a cultural context, the particular importance of this relationship, “he said.
He recalled that “it was my party, the New Democracy, that began politically our country’s great economic opening to China. I am pleased that now, as Prime Minister of Greece, I am given the opportunity to be able to take this economic relationship – which we attach particular importance to – to a separate level. “
“The opportunities that lie ahead of us are many and important. Before I met you, I had the opportunity to visit the COSCO headquarters, discuss with the President of the company and reaffirm our total commitment to this extremely important investment. What you need to restrain from what is happening in Greece is that there is, today, a government that is committed to facilitating foreign investors, attracting foreign capital, and creating wealth and prosperity for all Greeks, and to do so – as it does you have often emphasized in your public interventions – in a way that is sustainable, in a way that respects the environment, “the prime minister said.
“We were committed to approving COSCO’s master plan within two months, we did so, and we are now ready to launch this investment and enter a new phase of upgrading Piraeus port,” Mitsotakis said.
“When we say something we do, we do not say words,” the Greek Prime Minister said.
Speaking about economic cooperation between Greece and China, Mr. Mitsotakis said that over the past 15 years more than 1,000 ships have been built by Greek shipowners worth over $50 billion. He added: “In the supply chain of ships it is important to see companies that have great know-how in ship powering and can work with Chinese shipyards to open up the market in this way. It will be a win-win solution for Greek producers, for Chinese shipyards and for Greek shipowners, of course, who will continue to build their ships in China. “
At the conclusion of the meeting, the two leaders renewed their meeting in Athens during the Chinese President’s official visit to Greece on November 10-12. For his part, the Chinese President invited Mr Mitsotakis to pay an official visit to Beijing.
Meeting with the President of Bank of China
Shortly before his meeting with the President of China, Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Bank of China President Liu Liange, which opens its first branch in Athens in November to finance investments particularly in the green economy and energy’s.
Source: Government of Greece