Chinese, Greek PMs eye closer ties

Tsipras sub­mits six in­vest­ment pro­pos­als in­clud­ing in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, banks

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and his Chinese coun­ter­part Li Ke­qiang yes­ter­day dis­cussed a se­ries of ac­tions aimed at boost­ing bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, with Greece mak­ing six in­vest­ment pro­pos­als to Bei­jing.

Dur­ing talks with Li, Tsipras pro­moted Greece’s po­ten­tial role as a gate­way for Chinese prod­ucts into the Euro­pean mar­ket.

Greek sources in­di­cated that Chinese au­thor­i­ties were con­sid­er­ing Greece’s pro­pos­als “with in­ter­est.”

The con­ces­sion of a 67 per­cent stake in Pi­raeus Port Author­ity to Chinese ship­ping gi­ant Cosco is “help­ing the coun­try stand on its feet,” Tsipras said, adding that Greece was fi­nally turn­ing the page af­ter years of financial un­cer­tainty. “We are send­ing a strong mes­sage to the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets that Greece is de­ci­sively en­ter­ing a new phase,” Tsipras told a busi­ness fo­rum in the Chinese cap­i­tal as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Cosco and Greek pri­va­ti­za­tion fund TAIPED of­fi­cially signed the fi­nal agree­ment for the port deal. The deal was one of nine agree­ments signed be­tween the two sides. The other eight agree­ments were re­lated to bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in tourism, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, in­vest­ments and grams.

In com­ments at the busi­ness fo­rum yes­ter­day, Li said his coun­try will help Greece be­come stronger in­side a stronger Europe.

The six pro­pos­als made by Greece to the Chinese are: Chinese par­tic­i­pa­tion in ten­ders for the Thri­a­sio Freight Cen­ter and Crete’s Kasteli air­port as well as in­volve­ment in ship­yard build­ing in Greece; in­vest­ment in the Greek bank­ing sec­tor; ex­pand­ing on Greek agri­cul­tural and food ex­ports to China; the cre­ation of a re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ter in Greece with Chinese help; in- cul­tural pro- Chinese Premier Li Ke­qiang laughs with Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras dur­ing a sign­ing cer­e­mony at the Great Hall of the People in Bei­jing yes­ter­day. Greek and Chinese of­fi­cials signed nine agree­ments, in­clud­ing the ap­proval of a deal for the con­ces­sion of a 67 per­cent tranche of the Pi­raeus Port Author­ity to Chinese lo­gis­tics gi­ant Cosco as well as agree­ments in tourism, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, in­vest­ments and cul­tural pro­grams. vest­ment in tourism in­fra­struc­ture and the cre­ation of di­rect flights be­tween Athens and Bei­jing; and bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in the cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion sec­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to Greek gov­ern­ment sources,talks are under way to create a bi­lat­eral com­mit­tee to over­see progress in those ar­eas.

In com­ments be­fore the Na­tional People’s Congress, Tsipras de­scribed Greece’s re­la­tion­ship with China as “a bi­cy­cle.” “One of the wheels is financial co­op­er­a­tion and the other co­op­er­a­tion is in cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion,” he told the pres­i­dent of the congress, Zhang De­jiang.

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