25 October, 2006
Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis met in Beijing on Tuesday with China's Trade Minister Bo Xilai in the presence of Deputy Finance and Economy Minister Christos Folias.
Speaking after the meeting, Bo Xilai said "we referred to our cooperation in the sector of shipping. It is known that Greece is a world superpower in shipping. It has over 3,000 freighters with a capacity exceeding 1.18 million tons. In this sector, China and Greece have very great supplementarity. Meaning that China is a country with a great demand for services in sea transport in all oceans. You will find many Chinese goods in all ships. According to statistical data, over 50 percent of goods are transported with Greek ships, while over 60 percent of the oil we purchase from abroad is also transported with Greek ships. A short while ago, a great Greek shipowner began to build four ships, having a capacity of 8,500 tons, at Chinese shipyards. In addition, big Chinese companies import olive oil and marble from Greece. I believe that in the near future more opportunities will be found to widen cooperation in the economic and commercial sector."
Alogoskoufis said on his part that "Greek ports can constitute a base for the development of trade between China and the European Union. Many Greek shipowners, who carry a large part of China's trade, build their ships in this country and many traditional Greek products, such as olive oil, marble, beverages and other high quality products, can find their place in the Chinese market. Just as many Chinese products can, through Greece, find bigger markets in the European Union."
He further said that "I invited the minister to visit us in Greece soon for us to continue from our country as well this important cooperation that has developed between Greece and China and place even greater emphasis on our economic, as well as our cultural relations."
Source: Athens News Agency