Greek PM hails China
Pioneering investment in port by COSCO in 2009 ‘is just the start’
China’s decision to invest in the port of Piraeus in 2009 has been described by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as a “game changer” for the future.
Samaras said he believes Chinese shipping giant COSCO’s investment is just the start of strategic Chinese involvement in Greek infrastructure, aimed at turning Greece into a more functional gateway to Europe.
“We are now building on this, and we are trying to expand it further,” Samaras told China Daily in an exclusive interview shortly before Premier Li Keqiang began a three-day visit to Greece on Thursday.
At a joint press conference after their meeting, Premier Li appreciated the assistance offered by Greece to help Chinese nationals evacuate from violence-hit Libya in 2011, and expressed China’s firm belief in Greece to tackle the difficulties brought by its debt crisis.
Samaras said China has helped Greece tide over its debt crisis and further expansion of bilateral cooperation will benefit themselves and the Europe as well.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of more than 20 government and commercial agreements worth $7 billion covering sectors including logistics, energy, shipping and property. The deals also included trade in wine and olive oil.
They decided to set up cultural centers to facilitate cultural and people-to-people exchanges. A memorandum of understanding on maritime issues was signed to promote