Concerns over investment by China in Greece rejected

Updated 2017-08-31 13:31:01 Global Times

Deals benefit both sides: MOFCOM

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Wednesday stressed the economic and social benefits of investment cooperation between Chinese and Greek companies, after some Western countries expressed concerns about China expanding its influence in the country and into Europe.

In response to a question from the Global Times, the ministry also highlighted the positive momentum in the two countries' economic and trade ties in recent years.

"Chinese companies' investment in Greece has yielded positive economic and social benefits," MOFCOM said in a statement, adding that China and Greece have maintained a deep friendship, a positive political relationship and smooth development in economic ties.

Chinese companies have been investing heavily in Greece in recent months. In June, State Grid Corp, China's largest utility, completed an acquisition of a 24 percent stake in Greece's power grid operator ADMIE for 320 million euros (6 million).

State Grid's deal followed another massive investment by China COSCO Shipping Corp in Greece's Piraeus port, which could amount to a staggering 850 million euros in total.

These are just the latest in a wave of Chinese investments in Greece. According to the MOFCOM statement, by the end of June, China had invested a total of .3 billion in Greek projects such as ports, shipping, telecommunications and photovoltaic products.

Such investments in the EU country have reportedly caused some concerns in the West. The New York Times said the investments were a way for China to expand its "foothold in Greece, and, by extension, in Europe."

But MOFCOM on Wednesday said the investments were "successful examples" of cooperation between Chinese and Greek firms that show the huge potential for cooperation.

The ministry also pointed to rising Greek investment in China and fast-growing exports to China. As of the end of June, Greece has invested a total of .4 million in 147 projects in China, and Greek exports to China jumped 44.3 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year to 0 million.

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