Greek officials expressed confidence in Greece's attraction to investment and welcomed investment from China in the post-pandemic era during a Sino-Greek online video conference on Monday.
"Even amidst the current global uncertainty, Greece has become a promising and secure investment destination in southeastern Europe... I invite you to explore the numerous investment opportunities Greece has to offer," Yannis Smyrlis, Secretary-General for International Economic Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on his part, assuring that the Greek government will support investors in every step.
During the online video conference, Greek officials believed that the pandemic acted as a catalyst to speed up the implementation of policies aimed to strengthen competitiveness, and Greece is emerging as a strong investment destination in post-COVID-19 Europe.
"Greece can not only gain in competitiveness, but will be a leading player in the region," Kostas Karamanlis, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, said regarding the economic prospects after the pandemic.
The EU Recovery Fund will help Greece return to pre-pandemic growth rates, as it offers an opportunity to invest in significant infrastructure projects in key sectors wher the country has a geostrategic comparative advantage, such as logistics, the railway network, ports, and airports that will change its image, he explained.
Outlining the government's plans, the minister referred to the further upgrade of Piraeus port, as well as ports in northern Greece, to enhance Greece's position as an entry gate into Europe for logistics and trade between Asia and the European continent.
China's COSCO Shipping acquired the majority of Piraeus Port Authority S.A. shares in 2016 after an international tender, while its subsidiary, Piraeus Container Terminal S.A. (PCT), has also managed the port's container terminal since 2009.
The image of Greece's largest port has already improved with impressive results posted in recent years.
Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zhang Qiyue said in her remarks that the COVID-19 pandemic which plunged the global economy into deep recession was also a reminder of the importance of unity and cooperation, a wakeup call to all countries and businesses to work hand in hand to tackle the common challenges the world faces as a community with a shared future.
China is firmly committed to openness and cooperation, Chinese enterprises are encouraged to invest more abroad, and the new platforms provided by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and "17+1" opened new opportunities for collaboration between China and Europe, China and Greece, she noted.
Referring to Sino-Greek collaboration at Piraeus port as a good example, she said that the two sides can also look for new opportunities in promising sectors such as green energy, digital infrastructure, innovation, e-commerce, and the service sector, among others.
Monday's online event was organized by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU and the Hellenic Trade Council.