|Notis Mitarachi, visiting Greek Vice Minister for Development and Competitiveness, delivers a speech at a press conference in Beijing, Feb. 11, 2014. (People's Daily Online/Du Mingming)|
Beijing, Feb. 13 (People's Daily Online) Greece welcomes both real estate investors and construction firms from China, a Greek official said at a press conference held in the Greek Embassy in Beijing, Feb.11, 2014.
Notis Mitarachi, Greek Vice Minister for Development and Competitiveness, said that China and Greece have strong historical ties, and it is important to "pave the way for more investment, more trade, more tourism, more cultural cooperation between Greece and China."
Mitarachi said, "The Greek economy will be recovered in 2014", and gave reasons for his optimism: lower-than-expected deficit, stabilizing employment, and positive trade balance in both goods and service.
Mitarachi pointed out that it is a good opportunity for investors to tap Greek property market. He stressed that Greece is a gateway to Europe from the east, and the country's EU membership and political stability are also important competitive advantages to attract Chinese people -- both real estate investors and construction firms.
Non-EU citizens who purchase residential real estate worth 250, 000 euros (about 328,000 U.S. dollars) or more in the country can apply for Greek residence permit visas. The visa is valid for five years at the first time. Five years later, as long as the ownership of the property does not change, the visa can be renewed.
Mitarachi said that the Hellenic Republic is creating an investment fund, a fund in which the Greek government will invest 350 million euros, together with KfW Bankengruppe of Germany, the European Investment Bank, and hopefully other companies and investors. The fund is expected to reach 0.5-1 billion euros by the end of 2014.
Mitarachi, who arrived in Beijing Monday for a four-day visit, invited more Chinese to invest in private sectors in Greece, especially in fields like real estate, hotel industry, infrastructure, and energy.