Greek PM hails China

Pi­o­neer­ing in­vest­ment in port by COSCO in 2009 ‘is just the start’

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XING ZHI­GANG and FU JING in Athens

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

Fol­low the com­plete cov­er­age in English and Chi­nese at

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