Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is in China to attend the China International Import Expo 2019, where Greece is among the honoured countries.

During his visit to Shanghai on Sunday, the Greek PM met with the city’s Secretary for Communist Party of China, Li Qiang.

“Greece is our good friend in Europe. We have good bilateral relations,” Li Qiang said, as he received the Greek PM.

On his part, the Greek Prime Minister said it was a great honour to visit China as a Prime Minister and referred to his earlier visits to the country in 1995, noting the impressive economic progress since that time that had raised China to the world second-largest economy and brought 800 million people out of poverty.

“Greece and China are linked by a deep cultural relationship,” he added, expressing gratitude that “during this crucial decade [China] decided to stay in our country and continue to invest.”

The Greek Prime Minister claimed it is a feasible goal for Greece to aim to attract 500,000 tourists from China in 2020-2021, while the Greek government’s top priority was to attract investments.

“There is much we can do to support the activity of Greeks in China,” he added, listing areas where Greece can be at the forefront on the Chinese market.

Li Qiang noted that both countries had emerged from great civilisations with a long history and that the ties between them have greatly developed, while Mitsotakis’ visit will serve to strengthen bilateral relations in the future.

“Shanghai is the economic hub of China with 24 million permanent residents and six million non-permanent residents, a total of almost 30 million inhabitants. More than 10 million people use the metro each day,” the Chinese official noted.

He also noted the Chinese people that visit Greece every year, such as the recent fashion for couples to come to the islands of Crete and Santorini, noting the willingness for launching new areas of cooperation.