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Greek exports to China on the up

Greek exports to China jumped 84.9 percent helped by strong exports of Greek cotton (up 7,193 percent), marble (up 54 percent) and oil products (2,282 percent), a report by the Greek embassy in Beijing showed on Thursday.
 
The report noted that Greek food and beverage exports to China rose significantly last year, although exports of traditional products, such as fur, showed signs of fatigue.
 
Imports from China fell 12.32 percent to 2.52 billion euros last year, hit by the deep economic recession in the country and by a 56 percent decline in ship deliveries to Greek shipowners, although demand for photovoltaic panels and metal scrap jumped by 240 percent and 468 percent, respectively, in 2011.
 
The report noted that the increase in Greek exports was an encouraging sign for the future, without however ignoring the fact that a significant part of this advance last year was attributed to the export of products with no seasonal stability in bilateral trade, such as exports of cotton and oil products. The embassy report also stressed that the policy of Chinese authorities to boost domestic demand and an increase in the living standards of Chinese citizens would have a positive impact on Greek exports.
 
The food/beverage and the pharmaceutical/cosmetics sectors could become dynamic export fields, while a government policy to restrain real estate prices in China –slowing down construction activity- could put a short-term brake to exports of Greek marble.
 
The Greek embassy forecasts that Greek exports to China would be around 2011 levels this year, while imports would depend on developments in the shipping sector and ship deliveries, while imports of Chinese consumer products were not expected to be hit significantly because of their low prices.
 
Greece’s trade balance with Hong Kong improved in 2011, with imports falling by 36.37 percent to 37.4 million euros, while Greek exports totalled 62.06 million euros (up 29.61 percent), offering a trade surplus to Greece.
 
Imports of plastic products fell 100 percent, wrist watches fell 24 percent, jewellery dropped 65 percent, while rubber imports jumped 286 percent. On the other hand, Greek exports of telephone devices rose 34 percent, marbles rose 29 percent, fur soared 173 percent and jewellery fell 41 percent.
Greek trade with Macau remained limited, with imports covering mostly bicycles (386,000 euros) and Greek exports covering glass objects (113,000 euros).

19 business agreements of the visit of Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China 
Mr. Li Keqiang in Greece.

The prospects of aiding the already close cooperation between China and Greece was analyzed in an interview of the Greek Prime Minister, to the newspaper China Daily.

Referring to the visit of his Chinese counterpart, he discussed the prospects of enhancing the already close cooperation in areas of mutually beneficial for the two countries (investment, infrastructure, shipping, trade, tourism and culture) and stressed that there is "tangible progress" that creates a "stable relationship, with huge potential for both countries". Especially for COSCO's investment in the port of Piraeus, the Greek Prime Minister argued that the investment "is only the beginning of a strategy of Chinese participation in Greek infrastructure, the process of creating a major European alley". Meanwhile, he highlighted the importance of culture as the "best and most stable way for bringing people together" and noted that "the unique historical experiences of China and Greece are inherently complementary and have global power".

Many business agreements and transnational memorandums of cooperation occurred in the first day of a three-day official visit of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Greece, which are totally 19 and refer to the sectors of shipping, energy, construction and food.