Greek – Chinese Relations Grow

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Chinese President Hu Jintao is scheduled to arrive in Athens on Monday, November 24, and it is expected that this visit will herald a new era in bilateral relations between Greece and China, which date back to 1972. The recent development of Sino-Greek relations has been stunning, especially in the sectors of economy and culture. After Athens hosted the Olympic Games 2004, preparations for the Olympic event in Beijing began, which required officials to meet regularly and discuss everything from know-how to security. These meetings soon expanded to include not only sports, but also trade, shipping and tourism. Discussions have helped China’s Cosco Pacific take over the cargo management services of state-controlled Piraeus port in a 35-year deal assessed to be worth €4.3 billion, and the Chinese president is expected to seal the deal officially during his trip next week. Other sectors of trade include lottery and jewellery: lottery systems supplier Intralot is a Greek company expanding into the Chinese market, and the Folli-Follie group has more than 80 points of sale in China. The population of the Chinese community in Greece – estimated at 20,000 to 30,000 – is not merely interested in commercial relations with Greece, but also in evolving into a prosperous and integrated community, on many levels, throughout the country. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek- Chinese Bilateral Relations; Embassy of Greece in Beijing: www.grpressbeijing.com Mediainfo2004.gr: From Athens to Beijing; InterChina Cultural Centre in Piraeus: www.interchina.gr Secretariat General of Information: Feature Stories-The Greeks and the Chinese: Doing business for aeons (Economist, 21.08.08)