Greece was the first EU member to join the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2018. Under the BRI framework, the two countries have witnessed close cooperation in a range of fields which have yielded benefits for both countries.
It’s noteworthy that China’s imports from Greece have increased rapidly in recent years, reaching nearly $1 billion in 2021, up nearly 26 percent year on year and 244 percent more than five years ago. Olive oil, dairy product, wine, safflower, and other high-quality products are increasingly gaining popularity among Chinese consumers.
In terms of investment, China has become Greece’s sixth-largest source of foreign investment and this cooperation can be seen in transportation, energy, communications, finance, and other fields.
The Port of Piraeus project run by China’s COSCO Shipping in Greece, for example, has grown into the largest container port in the Mediterranean and the fourth largest container port in Europe in just a few years, thanks to joint efforts made by China and Greece, creating tens of thousands of jobs and contributing more than 1.4 billion euros to the local community. In 2021, the pre-tax profit of the project increased by more than 33 percent year-on-year, reaching a record high, contributing to an economic recovery, tourism revival, and supply chain stability in Greece and the surrounding region, according to the Chinese Embassy in Greece.
Both Greece and China are ancient civilizations continued on to the present day, and their people-to-people and cultural exchanges have also flourished. The two countries recently inked plans to promote tourism. Currently, three Confucius Institutes have opened in Greece, and six universities in China now offer full-time undergraduate courses in Greek.
Source: Global Times, July 14, 2022. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202207/1270552.shtml