Economy > Investment

China-Greece cooperation to deliver win-win results

2019-11-13 09:20

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BEIJING, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- As two ancient civilizations, China and Greece have seen stronger momentum in bilateral economic cooperation, with Greek companies yearning to tap the Chinese market.

Vaso Tsimpimpaki, manager of marketing and export of Tsimpimpakis Group, a Greek company producing olive oil products, has a very busy schedule these days.

After attending the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), which concluded Sunday, she rushed to another trade exhibition focusing on the food and hospitality sector in Shanghai.

"We have spent a lot of time in China and we see it as a process of building trust, which is important for doing business," she said.

Tsimpimpaki hoped that more flight connections could be built between Greece and China so she could introduce more about her country and products to China.

According to data from China's Ministry of Commerce, total bilateral trade between China and Greece reached 7.06 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. In the first nine months of this year, the two-way trade topped 6.35 billion dollars, up 21.4 percent year-on-year.

At the second CIIE, the transaction volume of Greek businesses grew 2.5 times compared with that at the first CIIE last year.

"Greek products can expand their international market in China, while Chinese consumers can enjoy high-quality products from Greece," said Stergios Sourlis, commercial director for international markets of Hellenic Dairies S.A. from Greece.

Seeing China more committed to further opening up, Sourlis was eager to find the right path to the Chinese market. At the second CIIE, he was busy meeting local distributors and consumers to promote Greek yogurt and dairy products.

"Greeks and Chinese share many common values. Chinese people's way to approach business is very close to Greeks, so we felt very comfortable doing business with them," Sourlis said.

"I am very optimistic about the future. As more and more Chinese people visited Greece, they will experience the Greek Mediterranean diet and learn more about this country," he said.

Adonis Georgiadis, Greek minister of development and investments, also has high hopes for bilateral economic cooperation, as China has become one of the biggest investors in Greece in recent years.

So far, Chinese investments in Greece have exceeded 2 billion dollars, providing over 3,000 direct jobs for locals.

In 2016, China Ocean Shipping Company, also known as COSCO, acquired a majority stake in then struggling Piraeus port. The Chinese-invested flagship project Piraeus Port has survived bankruptcy and become the largest container port in the Mediterranean.

"This investment will go forward in the next step and the political will of our government is to help the investment to be much bigger to benefit the Greek and Chinese people," Georgiadis said.
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