Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pointed out Greece’s role as a bridge not a border between the west and the east but also as a regional hub that acquires international importance, addressing the 2nd Belt and Road Initiative that is held in Beijing on Friday.
Tsipras underlined that the initiative’s target aligns with the regional economic goals that the Greek government has set and promotes leaving behind the crisis and the dependence on its lenders. He expressed his certainty that “the cooperation and the extroversion is the future” adding that Greece focuses on them. “We want our neighbourhood, the southeastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, to be the bridge that will link the west with the east. The region to become an international transport, energy and trade hub”, he underlined. He referred to COSCO’s investment in the largest port of Greece, Piraeus, noting that it is playing a key role in this effort. “The port of Piraeus is turning into an international gateway to Europe for products that come from Chinese and Asian ports through the Suez Canal” said the Greek prime minister.
Tsipras said that the Belt and Road initiative leads to the expansion of the economic development of trade and investments as well as to the upgrading of transports and cooperation in the energy and the scientific and technological innovation.
Tsipras said that Greece promotes its bilateral strategic relations with China “With the new role we have in our region we are looking forward to the enhancement of the cooperation between EU and China in the context of the international rules of trade and our engagements as EU state members. We see the need for a new global economically balanced growth that will include China more. In the framework of the development of EU-China relations, in the context of our comprehensive, strategic, bilateral and partnership relation but also in the framework of the Initiative 17+1 which we joined recently, we believe that we have excellent prospects”.
Tsipras also thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for the warm hospitality.
Later, Tsipras will have meetings with the Chinese prime minister Li Kequiang and with Chinese President Xi Jinping and at 19:30 (Beijing time) he will attend the forum’s official dinner.