Greece’s main role as the link between East and West and tourism as the stimulus for cooperation and investments was the focus of Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura’s address during the EU-Eurasia-China Business summit recently held in Athens.
Organized by the Economist Events and the Greek Eurasian Business Council, the summit titled, “Building Bridges from East to West”, explored whether the EU, China and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) can enhance their business and economic ties and boost investment in fields such as energy, transportation and agribusiness.
Referring to Greece’s dynamic role in world tourism developments – elected member of the World Tourism Organization executive board for the 2018-2021 period and chairing the OECD High Level Conference on Tourism in Paris earlier this month – Kountoura said “Greece can serve as the bridge which will bring the East and the West closer”.
The minister added that there was a broad scope for cooperation with EAEU countries – Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus – and with China, with the aim of strengthening tourism relations and supporting strategies that encourage the exchange of travel flows and investments.
“We have the political will to explore every possibility towards bilateral and multilateral cooperation in tourism,” Kountoura said, stressing that the ministry invites and encourages private initiative and enterprise.
The summit, which was attended by government, institutional and business leaders from the EU, Eurasian countries and China, and ends today, also examined the region’s role as a stabilizing force, as well as the potential of China’s “Belt & Road” strategy to connect Far East, Central Asia, Middle East and Europe through new infrastructure networks and trade routes.