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China eyes stronger trade, investment ties with Greece

Updated: Jun 21,2014 11:07 AM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (L) meets with Greek President Karolos Papoulias at the Presidential Mansion in Athens, capital of Greece, June 20, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

ATHENS - China is ready to expand two-way trade and investment with Greece, visiting Premier Li Keqiang said when meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias in Athens on June 20.

Noting that China and Greece have constantly strengthened mutual trust and deepened cooperation over the years, Li said the two countries share similar viewpoints in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

China is glad to see Greece make achievements in economic and social development as the government and the people have been striving to tide over the European sovereign debt crisis, Li said.

China is ready to work with Greece to achieve constant and further growth of bilateral relations, he said.

China is ready to deepen cooperation with Greece in such fields as technology, agriculture, and infrastructure, Li said, pledging to jointly build the port of Piraeus into a logistic hub between China and central-eastern Europe, and southeastern Europe.

China’s state-owned shipping giant COSCO gained the management lease for No 2 and No 3 piers of the Piraeus port, the largest one in Greece in 2008.

The premier also said that his country sees Greece as a good friend and partner within the European Union (EU), and expects it to play an even bigger role in promoting China-Europe ties as holder of the rotating EU presidency.

Applauding the high-level development of Greece-China relations, Papoulias said the fruitful visit of the Chinese premier showcased the willingness of the two countries to deepen bilateral ties and boost practical cooperation.

The president said Greece stands ready to deepen cooperation with China in various fields and continue to play a positive role in facilitating EU-China relations.

Premier Li arrived in Athens on June 19 for an official visit, his first trip to Greece since taking office in 2013.