Hundreds of Greek and Chinese business leaders attended this week’s high-level Greece-China business forum in Shanghai, held in the lead up to the China International Import Expo and during the official state visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to China.
The business forum, organized by Enterprise Greece on 4 November, drew 93 representatives from 62 Greek companies and business associations, and 276 representatives from 157 Chinese companies. More than three hundred business-to-business (B2B) meetings were held in the context of the forum, underscoring the growing commercial relations between Greece and China.
The Greek participation included companies from a wide range of sectors including: energy and construction, food and beverage, tourism and real estate, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, information and communication technologies, shipping and maritime equipment, logistics, financial services and the cultural industry.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis opened the forum with a speech, and was followed by remarks delivered from representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai Chambers Association. Additional presentations were made highlighting the successful investment by COSCO in Greece and by Kleemann in China.
A discussion focusing on bilateral cooperation in the fields of tourism and culture followed, with the participation of Lina Mendoni, Greek Minister of Culture, and Konstantinos Loulis, Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development.
During the B2B sessions that concluded the forum, 315 meetings were held between Greek companies and 213 representatives of 132 Chinese companies. Leading Chinese companies participating included: Bank of China, China Development Bank, Juneyao Group & Junyao Air, COSCO Shipping, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), China Three Gorges International, Futong Group, ZTE, Huawei, Tencent Technology, Penglai Zhingbai Jinglu Ship Industry, and Ningbo Tongzhou Ship Engineering.
The CIIE was opened on 5 November, and in connection with the official opening, the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, was hosted at the Greek pavilion by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kostas Fragogiannis and Georgios Filiopoulos, CEO of Enterprise Greece.
The Greek pavilion features a virtual reality tour of Santorini, allowing visitors to experience a stroll through the island’s quaint streets and see the famed sunset of Oia. At the Gastronomy Bar hosted in the pavilion, visitors are able sample fine Greek foods such as olive oil, honey, and cheeses, and taste Greek wine in the Wine Bar. The pavilion also hosts the jewelry exhibition Fruits and Symbols, and an exhibition with copies of Greek antiquities curated by the Ministry of Culture. President Xi showed particular interest in the exhibitions, where he focused on the busts of Homer and Hippocrates.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis also visited the pavilion and met with the president and managing director of Chinese firm Alibaba, after which he visited the individual stands and spoke with the Greek exhibitors present.
The formal inauguration of the Greek pavilion took place on 6 November, with the participation of Minister for Shipping and Island Policy, Ioannis Plakiotakis, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Fragogiannis. Also attending were members of the prime minister’s business delegation who were welcomed with remarks delivered by Enterprise Greece CEO Georgios Filiopoulos. The ceremony concluded with a music and dance performance, while exhibitors served visitors Greek food and wine