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Greece embraces CIIE as another link with China

By Morag Hobbs (People's Daily Online)    10:36, November 07, 2018

George Katrougkalos (Photo/People's Daily Online)

Greece sees the CIIE as a historic event and embraces it among other links with China, said Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Katrougkalos, during a recent interview with People's Daily Online.

"It [the CIIE] is a historic event, exactly because it signifies not just the opening of the Chinese economy, but I would say that as you're no longer promoting your economy through infrastructure, or exports, but through commerce," said Katrougkalos.

Greece has a number of booths set over three sections; investment, tourism, and agriculture, as well as a national pavilion. Katrougkalos explains that tourism is one of the most dynamic sections of the Greek economy.

"We believe that Chinese tourists would have a special interest in Greece exactly because they're not just interested in natural beauty, but also in culture and history... Because both of us are ancient civilizations, we have a lot in common."

However, Katrougkalos notes that he's hoping that Greece can branch out, and says the Belt and Road is welcomed, "we consider Greece a kind of bridge between Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Therefore, we want to be the gate for your products to Europe, and vice versa." He hopes that Greece will be able to combine the Belt and Road Initiative with the connectivity projects of the European Union, for an integrated program of more advanced commerce.

Katrougkalos said he respects China, and not just for the opportunities it has given to other countries. "It is not just the opening up; it is that you have managed to combine economic progress with social progress. What I consider as the biggest, maybe the most fundamental achievement of yours, was putting out of poverty several hundred million Chinese."

There will be a variety of Greek products at the CIIE until Nov. 10, including wines, teas, pharmaceuticals and beauty products. "It's a very wide range of products that could be very much welcome here in your market," noted Katrougkalos.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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