China’s vice premier pays visit to Piraeus

China’s Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang is seen talking to crew members of a Chinese cargo ship during a visit to Piraeus’s container port yesterday. Greek and Chinese companies on Tuesday signed shipbuilding and construction deals worth hundreds of million of euros and may expand their cooperation further to help Greece overcome its debt crisis, officials said. ‘The Chinese government will encourage strong Chinese companies to come to Greece and find business partners for investments,’ Zhang said during a meeting with Prime Minister George Papandreou. Among the agreements signed, China’s BCEGI group sealed a 150-million-euro deal with a Greek company to convert a tower block in Piraeus into a luxury hotel and shopping mall. The agreement marks the first big investment by a Chinese company in Greek tourism and retailing. China’s vice premier is scheduled to leave Athens today.