Greece-China Interministerial Committee meets in Athens on trade and investment initiatives

Greece and China discussed trade initiatives and investments at the 12th Joint Interministerial Greece-China Committee meeting which opened in Athens on Wednesday. The last meeting of the committee was in November 2012.

Greece’s relations with China “are at their peak right now at a political and economic level,” Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos said, “and we want to be specific and produce concrete results,” he added.

The minister outlined the promising prospects of trade with the Asian country, evident from the rate of exports “which has recently been explosive, increasing by 60 pct.”

The head of the Chinese delegation, Deputy Commerce Minister Gao Yan, described the Cosco investment in Piraeus as exemplary and proposed the coordination of maritime and railway transportation through the Chinese strategy of “One Belt, One Road”.

She also said that China was interested in increasing Greek imports, and called on the government to facilitate investments, in order to encourage business interest in the sectors of infrastructure, energy, maritime transport and telecommunications.

Greek exports that were particularly emphasised were honey, fresh fruit (especially cherries), and feta, which Giorgos Tsipras, foreign ministry secretary general for economic relations, said should be protected in terms of provenance.

Several Greek ministers attended the conference, while both sides agreed to hold the next session in China in 2018.