China business deals draw PM

In a bid to generate more business with one of the world’s largest economies, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is scheduled to visit China on Wednesday on a trip with significant diplomatic overtones, sources said yesterday. Karamanlis is expected to sign a bilateral trade agreement with China in an effort to strengthen Greece’s role in dealings with Chinese business leaders who want to trade in the Balkan, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. So far, trade between the two countries has been limited, although there has been some growth. According to Chinese officials, bilateral trade volume in 2004 reached 1.25 billion euros ($1.5 billion), about 23 percent higher than the previous year, with most of it in the shipping sector. Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis will escort Karamanlis, who will visit Beijing and Shanghai, along with a delegation of Greek businessmen.

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