PM Mitsotakis at the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo 2019 in Shanghai. Photo: PM’s Press Office
“For Greece the crisis was a tragedy. But, as with any tragedy, in the end comes the catharsis. We are coming out from the dark years stronger, wiser and more realist. After 10 very difficult years, the Greek economy is recovering dynamically,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said speaking at the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo 2019 in Shanghai.
Addressing the President of the People’s Republic of China and an audience of hundreds of guests, Mitsotakis said it was an honour for Greece to be an honoured country and present for the second consecutive year at the Shanghai International Exhibition.
“However, the framework this year is very different. We are finally emerging from the darkness of the long and painful 10-year financial crisis and look at the future with a renewed sense of optimism and self confidence,” he underlined.
Mitsotakis stressed the strategic relationship between Greece and China which has developed over the past decades and is broadening. He talked about the ties between the two countries that go beyond trade, investment, technology, tourism and economy. Both countries feature cultures that have left a strong imprint on the human history, he said.
The prime minister referred to the development of shipping in Greece and noted that the Greek shipowners control 25 percent of the global merchant fleet.
He also referred to COSCO’s investment in Greece saying that it constitutes “an important success story”. He stressed that this investment was an example of how a Chinese company was bold enough to invest in Greece at a time when the country was not considered an appropriate investment destination. “My government has just approved a plan for additional investment of 600 million euros in the port of Piraeus. It is already the largest port in the Mediterranean. It can and will become one of the three largest in Europe,” the prime minister said.
At the same time he made extensive reference to the course of the Greek economy. He talked about the negative interest rates on Greek securities and estimated that Greece will have 3 percent growth in 2020.