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Trying to broaden economic engagement

China and Greece sign 16 deals

Greece and China yesterday signed 16 agreements in sectors such as energy, agriculture, tourism and ports. Chinese President Xi Jinping is on an official visit to Greece for follow-up meetings with Greek officials, after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited China last week at the head of a delegation of more than 60 businessmen. At the time, the two leaders said they wanted to expand relations.

China and Greece "are natural partners" in the creation of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Mr Xi said after meeting Mr Mitsotakis yesterday. The two countries will cooperate in many sectors and "we want to strengthen the transit role of Piraeus Port to expand bilateral trade and to invest in energy, transportation and the banking sector," the Chinese President added.

Greece is one of the backers of the plan for a massive network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks spanning Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe that will see trillions invested in new infrastructure across 126 countries.

Mitsotakis said: "We're opening a road that will soon become a freeway as our cooperation will be significantly enforced." The common goal of both countries is for half a million Chinese tourists to visit Greece in 2021, he added.

According to¸ an agreement in agriculture will see the export to China of Greek kiwi fruit as well as saffron from Kozani, a move that will boost the local economy of the small northern Greek town.

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