Dear Leaders from Ningbo Municipality and CCPIT Ningbo, Distinguished Guests,
I feel honored to congratulate all of you here in Ningbo, a historic cultural and tourist city with beautiful landscape, developed industries, prosperous economy, a famous international port-city and express my sincere appreciation for your contributions to the relations and friendly exchanges within CEEC-China. It is my great honor to represent my country Greece to this significant conference at a very special moment that my country Greece joined officially as the 17th member in the initiative CEEC-China.
Greece and China established diplomatic relations on June 5, 1972. In 2006 the two countries upgraded their relation into a Strategic Partnership aspiring to forge a steadily evolving, mutually beneficial and multi-level cooperation. In recent years, China and Greece have made important achievements in cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding for the development of the Belt and Road further strengthening the cooperation and the friendship between all member countries.
On August 27th 2018, China and Greece agreed to cooperate on developing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as their foreign ministers signed a memorandum of Understanding. Also, a new three-year Framework for Co-operation (2020-2022) was signed in Beijing recently by Greek Foreign Minister and Mr. Zhang Yong deputy head of China's National Development and Reform Commission, in the presence of the PMs of the two countries focuses on energy, transport, telecommunications, manufacturing, research, development, investment and banking.
All of the above reflects the closer ties between China and Greece. China considers Greece as a long-term and reliable strategic partner, appreciates the important role it plays in the development of the Belt and Road initiative. Greece is a country that has recovered from a heavy economic crisis and today it highlights and exploits the significant advantage given by its geographical position to the reunification of three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe becoming a regional logistical and transport hub of international importance.
We can describe Greece as a “bridge,” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to link China by sea with Southeast and Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa, through the lines of the old sea Silk Road, bringing China closer to the European Union, helping in approaching EU markets thus strengthening EU-China cooperation. Also helping business exchanges and facilitate all transactions, especially for SMEs to further integrate development strategies, to expand practical collaboration, achieve complementary advantages, deepen people-to-people exchanges, and finally, create a model of win-win cooperation in many fields of cooperation, such as:
- Exporting to China-CEEC markets the "added value" products such as the extra virgin olive oil "the golden olive tree juice", pure honey, natural cosmetics, unique Greek wines, superfoods and juices.
- Cooperation in tourism especially in Health & wellness tourism as Greece is a top health destination.
- Cooperation in Smart and Green technologies,
- Set-up R&D (research and development) centers,
- Manufacturing sector for high-tech sectors in a way that will facilitate Chinese manufactures to assembly in Greece and enter easily in the EU markets from a CEEC market!
We hope that with the precious help of Ningbo we can open in Greece a Chinese Center of Culture, Commerce and Connectivity that we have worked for many years and now is “ready to go” entering a New Era given a new perspective. The idea is to establish a “Special Town” comprising the culture, the arts, the trade and exhibition of high tech Chinese products to be licensed entering EU markets. This project will operate as a Multilateral Business Platform facilitating Cooperation between China and CEEC countries (17+1).
I am glad to have the opportunity to share with you views and suggestions on above USP project and also in various fields of win-win cooperation, to join hands within CEEC to pursue greater connectivity and work together strengthening our relations in order to promote bilateral cooperation. This conference is an excellent example of such cooperation.
We are entering a new era and it is the perfect time to seize the opportunity to collaborate closely and help CHINA-CCEC relations to go even farther, heading to a brighter future with golden opportunities for all.
Finally, I wish this conference a great success and I wish to all of you good health and happiness.