Sanghai, July 7, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
In a highly positive manner ended the last day of the Greek Prime Minister’s visit to China, after the three important meetings he had in Shanghai, namely with COSCO, Alibaba, ZTE, Fosun and CEFC, and as government source said, “we had three out of three”.
Highly positive is the assessment of the Greek delegation from its 5-day presence in Beijing and Shanghai, with top government source, referring to yesterday, speaking of three out of three. COSCO, Alibaba and ZTE were yesterday’s “positive moments” of Alexis Tsipras’ meetings. In his meetings the Prime Minister pointed out that the policy of Greece – China’s approach and the restoration of economic stability in Greece creates very favorable conditions for strategic investments in the country.
The first meeting of Alexis Tsipras was with the chairman of Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma, who returned for the meeting with the Prime Minister from America.
The online company alibaba, based in Shanghai, focuses on SMEs and the online market, in many areas, such as the movement of goods and tourism. The Greek side aims with this cooperation to boost both tourism from the share of 8 million tourists who come to Europe and the cooperation of small-sized enterprises through online alibaba platform. “Key” role will play the alipay wallet and its introduction in Greece, after overcoming any legal problems that might arise.
An echelon of Alibaba will visit Greece for further discussions in September and according to reliable information, there is already planning for the Chinese company to give seminars to SMEs.Alibaba carries 80% of the on-line markets in China with a growth that reaches 33%. The company’s philosophy is oriented to trade without intermediaries.
The strength of COSCO
The next meeting of the Greek Prime Minister was with Captain Xu Lirong, Chairman of China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO). The sealing of the agreement on the port of Piraeus was accompanied by additional investments the Chinese colossus is preparing, in excess to EUR 600 million, which was announced during the meeting of the government echelon with company executives. This decision of COSCO, gives a vote of confidence in the Greek economy, while with these investments are created infrastructure that will enhance the presence of both the Chinese company and the Greek State, which was highlighted as positive on the part of the government. The Government plans next develop the repair of vessels in Greece, with the upgrading of the shipbuilding zone of Perama being a priority.
ZTE was Alexis Tsipras next stop in Shanghai, where was signed a deal worth EUR 100 million between ZTE and Forthnet for the development of 5G. According to IBNA information, the agreement is a precursor and crash test for cooperation between ZTE and OTE.
The Chinese company dominates the field of telecommunications and is the largest listed company of China in telecommunications equipment. Annually, it invests 10% of its revenue in research and development.
Alexis Tsipras also met in Shanghai with the leaders of one of the largest 500 companies in the Forbes list with total assets of EUR 500 billion, the Fosun, which operates in the financial sector, medicine, tourism, culture and entertainment.
Fosun already participates as a shareholder in the investment of “Elliniko”, as the owner of the company Folie Folie and shareholder of Club Med tourist investments in Greece.
CEFC China Energy Company Limited is a private collective enterprise with energy and financial services as its core business. It is a financing company and is the 8th largest company in China, and the largest in Shanghai. It is active in many areas and has invested about EUR 150 million in the last two years in the Czech Republic. Europe is the number one destination for its investment and its main activities are capital investments, energy, real estate, tourism, energy, telecommunications, finance, medicine, industry and sport.
The Greek business delegation from Beijing traveled to Shanghai where they participated for a second day in a large business forum, which was attended by over 200 Chinese owners of large companies.
The inaugural speech was made by Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis who referred to positive developments at a macroeconomic level of the Greek economy, the ripple effects that will occur in areas of the economy after the agreement with COSCO, the export potential of the country, and the institutional improvements of the business environment that is taking place in Greece. Culture Minister Aristides Baltas also spoke, making mention to the cultural ties between the two countries, but also the possibilities of further cooperation in the field of culture.
The President of Enterprise Greece Christos Staikos mentioned inter alia, the fields of interest for investments from China.
Overall, the two events in Beijing and Shanghai were attended by over 500 Chinese enterprises and more than 300 meetings were held with the respective Greek.
Eight business agreements were signed between Greek and Chinese companies in technology (nanotechnology, smart materials Nanophos) and machinery (Doppler).