ATHENS – Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragogiannis on Friday emphasized the need for international joint actions to restart global economy and trade after the coronavirus pandemic, during a 17+1 video conference with China’s national coordinators.
The e-meeting by the China and Central & Eastern European Countries Cooperation (China-CEEC/17+1), which Greece joined in 2019, was organised by Chinese Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Qin Gang. Its focus was strengthening cooperation to address the financial and health implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fragogiannis outlined Greece’s management of the pandemic in its first critical stage, and the role that the 17+1 initiative could play in the Greek economy. He also called for a global approach based on collaboration, solidarity and transpanrency to deal with a global challenge.
China’s 17+1 initiative aims at strengthening and expanding cooperation with the states of central and eastern Europe. It includes 12 EU member states: Bulgaria, Greece, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, along with Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.
Some eight conferences have so far been held in the context of the 17+1 initiative, while the first summit of heads of state and government was to take place in April 2020 in Beijing, but was postponed due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.