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Samaras in China: Greece is developing into 'a success story'

Prime Minister on fourth day of visit to China

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Greece is winning the battle, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told a business forum in Shanghai on the last stop of his five-day visit to China, making a special mention to Socrates and Confucius

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras speaks during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (AFP) Prime Minister Antonis Samaras speaks during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (AFP) On the last stop of his five-day visit to China, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Saturday told a Hellenic Chinese business forum in Shanghai that Greece is “steadily developing into a success story”, adding that the country can easily become “a major gateway of China to the European hinterland”.

“Greece is determined to fight and win this battle; there is no other alternative for us. And we are winning,” Samaras said in a speech addressed to Greek and Chinese businessemen.

The premier repeated that the fears of a “Grexit” are now becoming the certainty of a “Greekovery”.

“Having achieved a safe political, fiscal and financial environment, we are currently implementing innovative structural changes,” Samaras said.

The prime minister invited investment in the fields of shipping, tourism, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and new technologies, using Cosco’s presence in the port of Piraeus as an example of a successful Chinese investment in the country.

Samaras went on to praise the Greek and Chinese civilisation, pointing to the countries’ long history and their world-renowned philosophers. “We should not forget that Socrates and Confucius lived at the same period and are world-widely acknowledged as the fathers of philosophy,” he said.

“Confucius spoke about the path to wisdom. Plato wrote about the path to virtue,” Samaras concluded. “Let us join our forces, to establish our own common path to a very prosperous future.”

Hangzhou

Early on Saturday Samaras addressed the World Cultural Forum in Hangzhou as a guest of honour. During his speech Samaras said that there can be no growth without culture and vice versa, and pointed to the fact that many Greeks in the shipping industry do business in the city of Hangzhou, which serves as a link between Greece and China.

During his stay in Hangzhou Samaras also met with the head of the National People's Congress, Zhang Dejiang. According to Chinese media, the two men on Friday pledged to strengthen parliamentary exchanges and boost economic cooperation between the two countries.

Zhang reportedly said that the National People’s Congress is willing to promote friendly contact with the Greek parliament at all levels and strengthen communication on the construction of democracy and legal systems so as to enrich bilateral relations.

Investment

Addressing a business forum on Friday, Samaras said that “Greek infrastructure is open [to investment] and we welcome Chinese enterprises to take part in the operation of some projects."

Samaras met with a total of eight Chinese companies that have expressed interest in investing in Greek airports, ports, railways, tourism, real estate and metal.

A total of 271 private meetings between Greek and Chinese businessmen were held after the business forum concluded in Beijing on Friday.

The Greek business delegation to China is made up of 87 Greek businesses from the most important sectors of the Greek economy, including shipping, banking, tourism, real estate technology, agricultural products and construction materials. Representing China were 257 business representatives and more than 135 Chinese companies.

On Thursday Samaras met with the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang. After the meeting, a number of protocols and cooperation agreements were signed.
 

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