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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece and China sign Joint Declaration on bilateral 'Strategic Relationship'

  • [01] Greece and China sign Joint Declaration on bilateral 'Strategic Relationship'

    Beijing (ANA-MPA/A. Panagopoulos) -- Greece and China on Thursday signed a Joint Declaration calling for the establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Relationship between the two countries, following talks in Beijing between visiting Greek prime minister Costas Karamanlis and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao.

    Karamanlis, who arrived in Beijing on Thursday morning (local time) on a three-day official visit, met later with premier of China's state council Wen Jiabao, with whom he reviewed the course of bilateral relations, after which they signed the Joint Declaration.

    The Greek prime minister said the Comprehensive Strategic Relationship reflected the level of Greek-Chinese bilateral relations and set out the framework for future cooperation between the two countries, both in the political as well as in the economic sector.

    Also signed was a Memorandum for the establishment of a standing Business Forum and cooperation in the field of SMEs, while the two premiers further agreed on matters concerning the merchant shipping, tourism, culture and agricultural sectors.

    The visit is considered important from both a political and economic viewpoint, and Karamanlis is accompanied by foreign minister Petros Molyviatis, minister of state and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, deputy foreign minister Evripides Stylianidis, and a large business delegation.

    In addition to promoting Greek agricultural products -- such as olive oil -- on the vast Chinese market and cooperation in the sector of construction and knowhow, the Greek government is also interested in attracting Chinese investments to Greece, as the country is strategically placed to serve as a springboard for Chinese entrepreneurs to Europe and the wider Balkan region.

    In statements to the press after his meeting with Wen, the Greek premier referred to the relations between the two countries and outlined in detail the agreements signed.

    "We ascertained that our political relations are built on strong foundations, but we also pinpointed substantial margins and prospects for further expansion and deepening of our cooperation," Karamanlis said, adding that "for this purpose, we signed a Joint Declaration on establishing a Greece-China Comprehensive Strategic Relationship, which reflects the level of our bilateral relations and sets out the framework of our future cooperation, both in the political and the economic sectors".

    "Particularly with respect to the development of our economic and commercial relations with China -- on which, as you know, we place great significance -- very important steps were made today," Karamanlis said.

    He explained that the two sides had signed the following accords:

    -- A Memorandum for the establishment of a standing Business Forum between the Greece-China Business Council and the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Commerce, which would contribute to intensifying the contacts between Greek and Chinese enterprises.

    -- A Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs).

    -- An agreement for the export of 60,000 tons of phosphate fertilizers to China.

    Karamanlis said they had also discussed cooperation in the shipping sector, tourism and further boosting cooperation linked to China's preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

    Finally, Karamanlis particularly stressed the signing of a Memorandum for the organisation of a "Cultural Year of Greece" in China in 2008 that would once again place Greece in the international spotlight.

    This decision, the Greek premier added, "is an exceptional honour for us", with multiple benefits for Greece's projection internationally.

    Earlier, Karamanlis met with the president of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Organising Committee (BOCOG) Liu Qi, who is also secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee, a member of the CPC Central Committee Politburo and former mayor of Bejing (1999-2002).

    On Friday, Karamanlis will be received by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

    He will later depart for Shanghai, to join a large Greek financial and business delegation.


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