Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zhang Qiyue addresses a forum themed "Belt and Road Initiative - The New Silk Road" in Piraeus, Greece, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
Greek businessmen and Chinese scholars voiced confidence in the prospects of Sino-Greek cooperation in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative during a forum held on Monday at Piraeus port, Greece's largest harbor which in recent years has become a strong symbol of win-win bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
"Belt and Road Initiative - The New Silk Road" was the main theme of the event organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Piraeus (PCCI) and the Chinese Embassy in Greece, with its co-organizer Renmin University of China.
Reflecting on the achievements made so far in this corner of the globe and along the 21st century's Silk Road, five years after the launch of Beijing's initiative, Greek and Chinese delegates explored the challenges lying ahead and the opportunities to further boost bilateral cooperation to benefit both sides, the region and the world.
"Greece can and should make further use of the opportunities opened up both from its key geopolitical position and from the primacy of Greek shipping to the global economic phenomenon," Vassilis Korkidis, president of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Piraeus, said in the opening remarks, pointing to Sino-Greek cooperation at Piraeus port which has become a rising hub in the global shipping, transport system.
Piraeus Port Authority S.A. is managed by China's COSCO Shipping Corporation since 2016, and Piraeus Container Terminal S.A. since 2010, posting remarkable results.
When addressing the forum, Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zhang Qiyue stressed that the B&R Initiative is proposed by China, but it is actually owned by the world, saying that "it is also a call on the part of China to other countries to cooperate in any way we can."
It is a good initiative for globalization and the world to work together, not in isolation, the Chinese ambassador said, underlining that China is trying to align her development with the development strategies of other countries.
Sino-Greek partnership at Piraeus has promoted economic recovery in Greece, creating jobs, and as the country's economic recovery has entered a new phase there are greater opportunities for bilateral cooperation, Zhang said.
Professor Wu Xiaoqiu, vice president of Renmin University of China, gave to the audience, which included mainly Greek entrepreneurs, a brief presentation of China's impressive economic development in the past four decades, underlining Beijing's spirit in favor of international cooperation and against isolation.
He expressed hope that collaboration between universities of the two countries can also deepen in coming years.
On his part, Wang Wen, Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, delivered a speech on "The 'Belt and Road' initiative and the world after 5 years: a review of challenges and successes in the past and its prospects for the future."
Until August 2018 China Railway Express has set off more than 10,000 trains, involving 48 domestic cities, and reaching 43 cities in 15 European countries, he noted.
He underlined that mutual trust needs to be strengthened in order to ensure the initiative's success to contribute to peace and prosperity around the world.
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