Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras concluded his five-day official visit to China on Sunday, 19 May, during which the Chinese side expressed a strong interest for projects that involve infrastructure, privatization and real estate in Greece.
Mr. Samaras traveled to China with a large delegation of ministers and businessmen to boost bilateral trade, investments and tourist travel to Greece.
While speaking at a Hellenic-Chinese business forum in Beijing, Mr. Samaras said that fears of a “Grexit,” an exit of Greece from the euro, have turned into a “greekovery,” an expectation of the recovery of the Greek economy.
The Greek premier was accompanied by 87 businessmen from the key sectors of the Greek economy: shipping, banks, tourism and property, agricultural and food, technology and building materials.
Greek-Chinese B2B meetings
The Greek PM’s trip to China included visits to Beijing and Shanghai and, according to the Greek Development Ministry, some 450 business meetings between Chinese and Greek entrepreneurs took place in both cities.
Some 257 Chinese businessmen from 135 companies participated in the Hellenic-Chinese Business Forum in Beijing. The Chinese enterprises represented the sectors of tourism, real estate, trade, energy, construction, machinery, minerals, food, agricultural products, services, finance and investment.
Following the forum, 271 B2B meetings were held between Chinese and Greek businessmen, out of which 23 percent of the meetings concerned the food industry, 20 percent concerned the tourism and real estate fields, 11 percent financial services (banks, etc), seven percent concerned IT and telecommunications and six percent concerned shipping.
In Shanghai, 184 individual B2B meetings were held between Greek enterprises and the 120 Chinese enterprises that attended the business forum there. The meetings mainly evolved around tourism and real estate (33 percent), shipping (29 percent), banks (17 percent) and food (14 percent).
Cooperation Agreements Signed
According to the Development Ministry, 11 trade and cooperation agreements were signed during the PM’s trip, among which:
- A Memorandum between the Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund (TAIPED) and the China Development Bank – The memorandum aims to promote the Greek privatization program in China and attract the “dynamic participation” of Chinese companies.
- A Memorandum between the Invest in Greece agency and China Development Bank – The memorandum sees the promotion of economic cooperation in tourism, real estate, telecommunications, energy and finance investments.
- A Memorandum of understanding between Greek Development Ministry and Chinese company Huawei – The multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, Huawei, will establish a transit hub for goods in Greece in the next three years and a research and innovation center in cooperation with top Greek research centers and technology companies. Huawei is the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, having overtaken Ericsson in 2012.
- A Memorandum of understanding between Greek Development Ministry and Chinese company ZTE – The world’s fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer and the fifth-largest telecoms equipment maker, ZTE , agreed to establish a transit and logistics hub at Piraeus port.