China Reinforces Greek Trade Ties
With the Eurozone’s debt crisis dominating business news headlines and the Greek economy being high on the list of concerns, China’s top political advisor, Jia Qinglin, met with Dimitris Avramopoulos, the deputy president of Greece’s New Democracy Party, to discuss trade ties between the two countries. At a meeting held in Athens, Jia noted that the New Democracy Party – the main opposition party to the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement – had a record of friendly policies toward China and will continue to play a pivotal role in the development of collaborations between China and Greece.
With Greece undergoing unprecedented economic difficulties, Avramopoulos said that the Chinese official’s visit to Greece and ongoing discussions on Sino-Greek bilateral ties has been encouraging for the Greek people. Jia reiterated that China encourages its enterprises to invest in Greece and will be working towards expanding shipping, trade and tourism. In response, Avramopoulos confirmed that the New Democracy Party sees the development of ties with China to be of great importance.
Having established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2006, China and Greece expanded cooperation in various fields in subsequent years. China’s statistics reveal that Sino-Greek trade climbed to US$4.35 billion in 2010, being an increase of 18.4 percent year on year. China’s investments in Greece currently total US$500 million, while investments in China by Greece are close to US$100 million. Forty Chinese entrepreneurs have accompanied Jia Qinglin on his trip to Greece in order to promote trade, investment and cooperative projects within the country. During the visit, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and the Greek Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis signed a Memorandum of Economic Cooperation, while four new trade agreements between the two countries were also signed.
Stressing that it is important to the world’s stability and development for Europe to be both prosperous and stable, Jia confirmed that China supports the stabilization measures put into place by the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Having been an investor in Europe’s sovereign debt market for some time now, China has every intention to continue supporting Europe and the euro currency. Jia also said that it was China’s hope that the European Union will actively support the export of hi-tech products to China, while creating a favorable environment for Chinese enterprises to invest in Europe.