Greece will claim an important share of China’s investment program as part of the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, a senior Greek official said Thursday.
Greek deputy Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas made the remarks at a press conference in Athens, after his return from the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing during May 14-15, Xinhua news agency reported.
Transport, telecommunications and energy are the three main sectors that the two countries are going to cooperate, according to the three-year action plan signed between the Greek and Chinese governments during the Forum. The Greek delegation was led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
China has shown that Greece could play an important role in its plan for more economic cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road routes, Pitsiorlas said.
After the presence of COSCO SHIPPING in Piraeus port and the participation of China’s State Grid as a strategic investor in Greek power grid operator ADMIE, Pitsiorlas highlighted that there was a keen interest from more Chinese companies to invest in Greece.
“During our visit in Beijing, we met with companies in the fields of energy, infrastructure, networks and construction, as well as tourism and the financial sector,” he said.
During Tsipras’ visit in Beijing, two major agreements were signed. The first was the cooperation between the Greek infrastructure development group Copelouzos and Shenhua Group, with a total investment of $3.38 billion in the energy sector. The second was FORTHNet with ZTE for the development of a fiber optic network, a total investment of $556 million.
For Pitsiorlas, there is a double opportunity for the country with an upgraded role. Greek companies can participate in the investment program.
In addition, as a hard core country of the EU, Greece can take the initiative to seek convergence between the objectives of Europe’s development strategy and the goals of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Regarding obstacles raised by the EU’s political or legislative environment, Pitsiorlas stated that there are also other European countries that have expressed their interest and potential partnerships with China.
“Good will synergies can overcome such obstacles,” he added.