ECONOMY

Greece, China sign communique for closer cooperation

Greek and Chinese government officials issued a joint communique on Friday agreeing to intensify cooperation in various sectors amid reports that more than 10 trade pacts had been signed since Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrived in the capital of Beijing on Thursday.

“Greece and China agree to maintain the high level exchanges and contacts and to proceed with a strategic plan for the development of bilateral relations the joint statement said.

The communique specified that China supports the efforts of the Greek government and people to tackle the country’s debt crisis and that it «attributes particular significance to the role of Greece as a factor for stability in the region of southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean.

Athens and Beijing are keen to boost bilateral trade ties with a particular focus on shipping, telecoms and infrastructure, the statement added.

On Thursday, Samaras, who is leading a delegation of some 60 Greek entrepreneurs, said China should use his country as a gateway to invest in Europe, pledging to give the “red carpet treatment” to foreign investors as Greece recovers from its economic crisis.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, for his part, called for doubling bilateral trade by 2015 and expanding investment in Piraeus, after Cosco Pacific Ltd. (1199) won a contract to run container operations at its Pier II in 2009.