Athens, Greece—August 8th, 2014Paola Uzcudun Country Coordinator at IPS met today with H.E. Prime Minister Samaras during an exclusive interview for the Greek Supplement to Fortune China where they discussed the Greek-Chinese relations and future collaboration between the two countries. Mr. Samaras said “Both sides share mutual feelings of friendship and respect; but we also both mean business. And probably this is why things are improving fast… “

During the last two months Mr. Samaras and his government have received high-profile visits from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that have strengthened further the special bonds that these two ancient cultures share. The Prime Minister has emphasized that “this affinity between Greeks and Chinese is a solid background for very strong ties, going beyond bilateral common interests; it a realistic basis for a long-term strategic relation between our countries from today to the decades to come.”

But, he added, this is not only a positive message to the Chinese community but also to the world because Greek society is the perfect example of hard work and recovery. “Greece has already improved by 111 positions in the world competitiveness ranking, in just two years (from the 147th position to the 36th), an unprecedented record of improvement.” said Mr. Samaras. Since they are also exploring opportunities to expand both traditional business – shipping, investment and trade – and new sectors such as technology and innovation, Greece is likely to become the perfect strategic partner of China in Europe.

Ms. Uzcudun added “Finally rising from the crisis, Greece is cementing its friendship with China, an ancient culture that deeply understands Greece and which knows that what is important is how you get up again, not how hard you fall. In the words of Confucius ‘Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do’. China has always supported Greece and now they are showing that they want a common future with an old friend.”

Max Bleyleben, Contributing Editor of Introducing Leaders, which is organizing the Greek business delegation to the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of Champions in Tianjin, China in September, commented “Greece’s membership in the European Union and its leadership role in global seaborne trade make it the ideal gateway partner for China to access the European markets.”

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