Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visits China on Friday to promote Greece as an attractive investment destination for Chinese business.
The visit comes days after two of China’s credit agencies upgraded the Greek economy, following similar moves by Moody’s and other international agencies.
Mitsotakis will meet China’s President Xi Jinping as well as Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, and he will be accompanied by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Christos Staikouras and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Economic Affairs, Costas Fragogiannis.
Greece aims to strengthen bilateral trade relations and increase exports to China, especially in the agricultural and standardized products sectors.
Moreover, the increase in the number of tourists from China is also on the agenda.
Staikouras will have a meeting with the management of the company “Yutong International Holding”, which has undertaken the supply of 250 electric buses for the fleets of the transport operators of Athens and Thessaloniki.
On Sunday he will represent Greece at the opening of the 6th International Trade Exhibition: “China International Import Expo”.
Greece participates in the exhibition with a national pavilion based on the themes: industry/construction, shipping, haute gastronomy/Mediterranean diet, tourism, culture, as well as with a sectoral pavilion in the food sector, flanked by representatives of 20 Greek companies.
Mitsotakis: “Greece is not dependent on China”
Mitsotakis recently brushed aside criticism that Greece is too dependant on China.
Speaking at an event organized by The Economist earlier this week, Mitsotakis made it clear that Athens is not dependent on Chinese funds.
“China is not a major investor for Greece, given that it has only made one major investment in the port of Piraeus years ago, which was certainly successful overall”, the Greek leader said.
“But apart from that, if you look at the pattern of foreign direct investment into Greece, Greece is certainly not dependent on Chinese capital,” he added.
“Greece is very much defined in terms of its strategic partnerships and its alliances as a member of NATO, but also as a member of the European Union. Having said that, we have bilateral relations with China.
“I will be going to Beijing on an official visit at the end of this week. But you wouldn’t expect me to be saying things that are different from what most European leaders say when we visit Beijing.” Mitsotakis stressed.
China: The big investor in Latin America
Apart from Greece, China is also a big investor in Latin America, Colombia One reports.
China, with its growing global influence, has intensified its investments in the region, challenging the traditional economic supremacy of the US.
The Asian giant has invested billions of dollars in the region in various areas, from infrastructure to energy and mining.
A report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) indicates that Chinese investments in Latin America increased from around $2 billion in 2005 to over $30 billion in 2019. These numbers reveal a serious commitment by China to the region.