The opening of a direct air route from Beijing to Athens to attract more Chinese tourists to Greece was one of the main issues promoted by Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis during his recent visit to China.
The mayor of Athens led a 20-member delegation of Greek businessmen on a visit to Beijing last week in a bid to strengthen relations between the two cities.
During a meeting with Beijing Mayor Wang Ansun on Friday, 29 March, Mayor Kaminis signed a memorandum of cooperation to promote cooperation in a number of sectors, including real estate, agriculture and tourism.
According to data, some three million Chinese tourists visited European countries last year but the number to Greece stood at 60.000 (1.6 percent).
Beijing–Athens Cooperation Committee
Earlier on Friday, Mayor Kaminis attended the first meeting of the Beijing-Athens Cooperation Committee, during which three memorandums of understanding were signed between Greek entrepreneurs and Chinese companies. The committee was established to promote inter-city cooperation in commerce, agriculture and tourism.
According to the mayor, an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center will be established in the Greek capital to attract more Chinese investments in Athens.
In addition, when speaking to the Chinese media, Mayor Kaminis said he was also promoting a post-graduate program between the University of Athens and China’s University of International Business and Economics on China-EU relations.