China has always believed in the Greek economy and the country's efforts to achieve a quick recovery, the Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli said on Thursday, during a visit to Alexandroupolis.
"China has always had confidence in the Greek economy and your efforts to achieve a rapid recovery," the ambassador said after his meeting with city mayor Vangelis Lambrakis.
Zou stressed the "tremendous prospects for developing cooperation between Greece and China, especially between China and northern Greece and Alexandroupolis," noting that the city's comparative advantages include tourism, shipping, energy, its natural resources and its geostrategic position. "It is in the crossroads of the new 21st century Silk Road," he said.
The ambassador's visit to Evros and northern Greece is to learn more about the region and explore, after meetings with local officials and businesspeople, the prospects for cooperation between the two countries.
Commenting on his meeting with the mayor, he said it is the "beginning of a mutually beneficial cooperation" and expressed his belief that cooperation between the two sides "in the near future" will be more productive.
The ambassador, who is accompanied by his wife, will continue his two-day visit to Evros with a meeting with the president of the Alexandroupolis Port Authority, Christos Doukas, and a visit on Friday to the island of Samothraki, where he will meet with the local mayor, Thanasis Vitsas.
Speaking after the meeting to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, Zou said several Chinese companies are interested in investing or developing trade with the port of Alexandroupolis.
"The port of Alexandroupolis is very well located and has a good connection by sea, air and land, while it also has an ambitious master plan for its future development. As far as I know, there are some companies that have shown interest in investing or developing commercial relationships in the harbor and the city. What I'm hoping for, is for is a closer relationship with the Chinese side for a better understanding of these possibilities, because mutual understanding is the first step for cooperation in practice, and that is the reason of my visit to Alexandroupolis Port Authority," he said.
"I also want to be informed about the region, its people, the available resources, so that I can present in the best possible way, on the Chinese side, the opportunities offered by the port for a mutually beneficial cooperation," he added.
Asked about the imminent signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the ports of Alexandroupolis and Guangzhou, the ambassador said is it a "very important step" and expressed his confidence that "the visit of the company to the border port and the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation will help build a capable channel of communication, a platform, on which we can further develop our cooperation."