Mitsoakis meets Jinping: Greece can play a role as a bridge between China and Europe

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis placed emphasis on further strengthening Greek-Chinese relations on multiple levels, especially trade, in meetings with the country’s leadership on Friday, during an official visit to China. Mitsotakis met Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang and the Chairman of the National People’s Congress of China Zhao Leji, with talks focusing on bilateral relations on both an economic and cultural level.

The Greek premier particularly emphasised the role that Greece can play as a bridge between China and Europe, while praising China’s role on the international scene.

In the meeting with Xi Jinping, Mitsotakis highlighted the recent economic growth in Greece and expressed his satisfaction that two Chinese credit rating agencies had upgraded Greece’s rating. The Greek prime minister’s comments were as follows:

“As you pointed out, Greece and China have a strong relationship, a strong economic relationship. The Piraeus port indicates this. It was a successful investment for both sides and we look forward to its further extension. Of course, there are significant margins for improving our trade relations so that more Greek products enter the Greek market and more Chinese visitors come to Greece.

“I would also like to especially emphasise the cultural exchanges between our two countries.” Mitsotakis said he was glad that the Chinese president likewise acknowledged the importance of the cultural ties with Greece and said he looked forward to soon welcoming him in Greece once again.

During the meetings with Chinese officials, the premier reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, noting that these were “strong and mutually beneficial” and discussed ways to further enhance them, especially in the sectors of the economy, trade, tourism and culture. Among others, he particularly emphasised increasing Greek exports to China, especially of agriculture products, and boosting tourism, so that arrivals of Chinese tourists return to pre-pandemic levels.
Earlier, a new Bilateral Greece-China Aviation Agreement was signed in Beijing on Friday.

The updated aviation agreement, which will replace that of 1973, is expected to enhance the transport of goods and passengers between the two countries and is fully compatible with European Union law, as well as the Horizontal EU-China Aviation Agreement that provides for the possibility of multiple appointments of airline companies by each side, the transport ministry said.