ATHENS - Greece-China relations have entered a new era, characterized by a dynamic cultural and economic collaboration, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Xinhua News Agency on Saturday, the People's Republic of China official state-run news outlet, interviewed at his Maximos Mansion office only hours before his departure to China, where he arrived on Saturday afternoon shortly after 3 pm-Athens time.
Greek Premier Mitsotakis was speaking to Xinhua in view of attending the six-day China International Import Expo 2019 in Shanghai, November 5-10, where Greece is one of the honored countries. While in China, the PM will meet with the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and top business officials.
"The cornerstone of the two countries' relationship is summed up in just two words: mutual respect, which is derived from a great historical heritage and solid business cooperation," the prime minister said and he added how both sides have thus far forged a harmonious, friendly relationship.
Mitsotakis emphasized that the second annual China International Import Expo 2019 is an excellent opportunity to highlight the strong cooperation between Greece and China.
The PM underlined that Greece is committed to giving rise to a friendly, open entrepreneurial context and assured the country is a field of equal opportunities, as far as investors are concerned.
Greece's "spirit of openness," he noted, "reflects the country's intention to bridge three continents," particularly now that "Greece has regained its position on the global map as an extrovert economy," said the Greek Premier.
A clear indication of the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries is COSCO's investment at the port of Piraeus in Athens, Mitsotakis observed.
Greece's prime minister then highlighted some key areas of cooperation, where he would like, as he said, to see "deeper, more substantial progress," these being the agricultural sector, mainland transport, shipping, energy, telecommunications, research and technology and "of course, tourism," he concluded.
The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' schedule of meetings in China, where he arrived on Saturday, in the city of Shanghai, is as follows in Athens time, which is six hours behind Shanghai time.
Sunday, November 3
At 06:00 am, Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a working dinner with the Secretary of the Communist Party-Shanghai Committee, Li Qiang.
Monday, November 4
At 03:40 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet with the Chairman of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Jianrong Yang.
At 04:00 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will address the inauguration of the Greek-Chinese Business Forum. The Greek business mission will then have the opportunity to explore collaborations with several executives of Chinese companies, in individual meetings.
At 05:30 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be received at COSCO's HQ by the Company's President Xu Lirong and a working lunch will follow.
At 09:00 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet with the President of the Bank of China.
At 10:30 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will hold an official bilateral meeting with the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, at the Presidential Hostel in Shanghai.
At 13:00 pm Kyriakos Mitsotakis will attend the dinner gala held by President Xi Jinping in honor of the leaders of the honored countries.
Tuesday, November 5
At 03:30 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will attend the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo 2019, at the National Exhibition and Conference Center.
At 05:00 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be accompanied by President Xi Jinping on the exhibition grounds and at the Greek pavilion.
At 10:30 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet with the President of ZTE Telecommunications and Technology Company Zi Xue Li.
At 11:00 am Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet with the President of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Chen Siqing.
The prime minister is accompanied by a business delegation representing more than 60 companies and organizations, and also by Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni, Minister of Maritime and Island Policy Yiannis Plakiotakis, the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragogiannis, the Director of the Greek Prime Minister's Diplomacy Bureau Alexandra Papadopoulou, the Head of the Prime Minister's Financial Bureau Alexis Patelis and the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Strategic and European Affairs Dimitris Mitropoulos, as well as other officials.