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Greek president praises B&R initiative's significance in promoting international cooperation
From:Xinhua  |  2017-10-10 01:35

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ATHENS, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos praised the significance of the Belt and Road initiative in promoting international cooperation and growth during an economic forum hosted in Athens on Monday.

"Greece supports this initiative and you all know that we have supported from the start all events promoting the global significance of the construction of the modern Silk Road," the Greek leader said addressing the opening session of the EU-Eurasia-China Business summit.

The conference which was entitled "Building Bridges from East to West" was organized by the Greek Eurasian Business Council (GEBC) under the auspices of the Greek Presidency.

Greece, as a European country at the crossroads of three continents, has been open throughout history to the communication and interconnection of different countries and culture, he stressed.

Today Greece holds a leading role in promoting Europe's ties with Eurasia and China, encouraging all efforts which contribute to peace and prosperity of all peoples, he added.

Greece attaches great importance to the Belt and Road initiative, Pavlopoulos underlined.

He explained to delegates that the idea is based both on ancient Chinese philosophy and the ancient Silk Road, which, on the one hand is characterized by a spirit of peace and mutually beneficial cooperation and, on the other hand, makes a substantial contribution to the development of infrastructure projects, promotion of trade, economic integration and closer relations between those peoples and the societies linked, either by land or sea, to the realization of this idea.

"Building bridges from east to west is our common mission. People-to-people understanding is the foundation. SRCIC (Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce) hopes to engage more international organizations and business elites in the Belt and Road construction. Let's do this through joint consultation and joint communication, and strive to build a shared future for all," said Lu Jianzhong, founding Chairman of SRCIC while delivering a speech.

Founded in 2015 SRCIC is an international NGO, composed of national business chambers along the Silk Road, Lu explained, calling for more cooperation to improve international trade regulations and standards, to build a bridge for easy trade.

SRCIC supports the construction of the Silk Road over land, maritime, air and cyberspace, building bridges for greater connectivity and cooperation in many sectors, including cultural exchange which helps mutual understanding, he stressed.

Lu as well as Greek officials also underlined the importance of the Sino-Greek cooperation at Piraeus which sets a great example as a flagship project in the Belt and Road.

"As the economic power is shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean Greece is no longer a country at the margins of Europe, but is at the center of the new economic world map... We aspire to become one of the key channels of regional cooperation between the entire Europe and China," Yorgos Katrougalos, Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister, said pointing to the successful bilateral collaboration in Greece's largest port in recent years.

On her part, Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura highlighted the role tourism flows play in enhancing the understanding and cooperation between peoples, urging for more focus on this field.

"We invite you to explore the new opportunities and development prospects Greece has to offer as a very attractive investment destination in Europe and the Mediterranean, as a bridge for economic activity and for new cooperation in regional and international level," she said addressing Monday's forum.

In all sectors the East and the West should work hard to open routes for dialogue and cooperation, Spyros Kouvelis, GEBC President, added, underlining that the total is much bigger than the sum of the parts.