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Greece: Waking the Dragon

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias arrived in Beijing on Sunday, for a five-day visit to China. Papoulias, who has already met with President Hu Jintao and the premier Wen Jiambao, commented on China’s “tremendous economic and political role” and was very satisfied to see bilateral relations reaching “the highest levels of cordiality and friendship”. Bilateral agreements focused on matters of justice, foreign aid cooperation, tourism, culture, international affairs such as climate change, as well as on educational issues. 

This visit aims mainly at boosting ties on matters of finance and investments. Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Doukas, who accompanied the president on his trip, said that, being the sole Balkan and SE Europe country that is a member of the EU, NATO and EU’s monetary union, Greece can constitute a potential base of operations, from where China could expand its business and investment activities in the European Union, the Balkans and the Mediterranean. The revenues of Greek ship owners transporting Chinese imports are significantly reducing Greece’s trade deficit in its transactions with China; nevertheless Greece opts for capitalizing even more the opportunities presented for both countries. Beijing expressed interest in deals similar to Cosco Pacific Ltd’s concession rights of the Piraeus port, while the Greek side has invited China to set up a bank in Greece.

Athens News Agency: Papoulias on China visit & Boosting Sino-Greek ties

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek- Chinese Bilateral Relations; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece