As visit to China concludes, Samaras offers incentives to invest in Greece

Any Chinese person investing more than 250,000 euros in real estate in Greece will be given a five-year residence permit without having to fulfill any other criteria, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told a business conference in Shanghai on Saturday.

The Greek government also aims to offer bigger investors Greek citizenship in a bid to attract investment from China. Samaras’s pledge came as he prepared to conclude his first official visit to the Asian country.

“This is the last stop of my current visit to China, but I strongly feel that this is the beginning of a new, more prosperous chapter in the history of our peoples,” he told his audience at the Greek-Chinese business forum.

“Confucius spoke about the «path to Wisdom». Plato wrote about the «path to Virtue». Let us join our forces, to establish our own common path to a very prosperous future.”

The Greek side appeared pleased with the outcome of Samaras’s trip to China. Apart from issuing a joint communique, 11 trade and cooperation agreements were also signed during the trip. It is worth noting, though, that Greece and China also issued a joint communique in January 2006 when then Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis visited Beijing. This time, Chinese government sources stressed to Kathimerini that it was vital the Greek side followed up on the agreements it had made.

Samaras was due to fly to Azerbaijan on Sunday, where he will discuss the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) with the country’s leadership. Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is also one of the leading contenders for the purchase of Greece’s natural gas network operator, DESFA.

Samaras’s plans to travel to the USA in early June have been postponed as Athens was not able to secure a high-level meeting between the premier and Washington officials. Samaras was due to speak at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum, which takes place between June 2 and 4, but Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will take his place instead. Kathimerini understands that Samaras’s trip is likely to take place in July.