China stresses benefits of Sino-Greece cooperation amid Western concerns
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Wednesday stressed the economic and social benefits of investment cooperation between Chinese and Greek companies that have been cited as a source of concern for some Western countries.
In response to a question by the Global Times, the ministry also highlighted the positive momentum in the two countries’ economic and trade ties in recent years.
“Chinese companies’ investment in Greece has yielded positive economic and social benefits,” MOFCOM said in a statement, adding that China and Greece have maintained a deep friendship, positive political relationship and a smooth development in economic and trade ties.
Chinese companies have been investing heavily in Greece in recent months. In June, State Grid Corp, China’s largest utility, completed an acquisition of 24-percent stake in Greece’s power grid operator ADMIE for 320 million euros ($356 million).
State Grid’s deal followed another massive investment by China COSCO Shipping Corp in Greece’ Piraeus port, which could amount to a staggering 850 million euros in total if COSCO goes through with a plan to put another 500 million euros in the project.
These are just the latest in a wave of Chinese investments in Greece. According to the MOFCOM statement, at the end of June, China has invested a total of $1.3 billion in Greek projects such as ports, shipping, telecommunication and photovoltaic.
Such investments into the EU country have reportedly caused some concerns in the West. The New York Times cited such investments as a way of China expanding its “foothold in Greece, and by extension, in Europe.”
But MOFCOM on Wednesday termed such investments as “successful examples” of cooperation between Chinese and Greek companies that show the massive potential for further cooperation.
The ministry also pointed to rising Greek investment in China and fast-growing exports to China.
As of end of June, Greece has invested a total of $96.4 million in 147 projects in China, and Greek exports to China jumped 44.3 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year to $180 million, according to the MOFCOM statement. Chinese exports to Greece rose 4.3 percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion during the same period.
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