Greece and China are two countries whose history, culture and modern development are linked to the sea and shipping.
A tangible example of cooperation is COSCO’s investment in Piraeus Port, one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean that is becoming a focal point for connecting China (and Asia) with Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Piraeus Port has climbed to 3rd place in the Mediterranean, up from 11th in 2006 while international companies, such as ZTE, HUAWEI and HP, transport their goods to Europe via Piraeus.
Chinese investment in Greece recorded a satisfactory increase between 2013-2015, focusing in the key areas of transport and logistics, communications and electronic equipment. There has been Chinese investment also in the Renewable Energy sector, following the acquisition of permits to install photovoltaic parks. Chinese firms HUAWEI and ZTE have also a presence in our country.
Greek investment in China
It is estimated that around 40-50 Greek companies engage in different economic sectors in China: in mining, professional refrigerators, jewelry, cosmetics, plastics, furniture, computers, gaming, food, shipping, consultancy and tourism services, interior design, marketing, catering, etc.
Bilateral cooperation in maritime transport is based on the Maritime Transport Agreement between the European Union and China (2008) and the Strategic Cooperation Agenda 2020, an evolution of the Strategic Partnership between the EU and China. The shipping sector is one of the most successful areas in our bilateral economic relations, characterized by a comprehensive regulatory framework which has greatly facilitated the development of excellent cooperation.
Greece has a bilateral trade balance deficit with China. However, it is worth noting that in 2016 Greek exports increased by 43% compared to the previous year, offsetting the deficit by 10%.
Finally, wishing to strengthen the wave of Chinese tourists to the country, Greece has set up several visa centers in China.