Greek ambassador to China: Our 'cultural DNA' greatly assisted our societies

Greece China georgios iliopoulos

Georgios Iliopoulos, Greece's ambassador to Beijing, believes that Greek-Chinese relations will significantly improve, especially in the post-pandemic period, China Daily reported.

"The China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Summit is useful in promoting multilateral cooperation, as we now confront not only the pandemic itself but also its consequences in our economies and societies," Iliopoulos said.

Greece China georgios iliopoulos
Georgios Iliopoulos.

The Summit was held via video link last week.

"The summit has confirmed the importance of the goal of common growth with benefits shared by all," said Iliopoulos, adding that inclusiveness, consultation and transparency were also reaffirmed as important tenets of China-CEEC cooperation.

Given Greece's extensive institutional experience in integrating the region into Europe and EU policies, Iliopoulos believes that it has the potential to contribute to streamlining and enriching the agenda of the China-CEEC cooperation, the Chinese outlet wrote.

Greece this year will host the 6th China-CEEC high-level conference on tourism cooperation and the 3rd China-CEEC experts' forum on intangible cultural heritage protection.

"This is a testimony of our will to engage in the China-CEEC cooperation mechanism in a constructive and effective manner," Iliopoulos said.

Iliopoulos also said that the two countries shared information and exchanged scientific data regarding COVID-19.

More than 410,000 Greeks have received Covid-19 vaccinations
COVID-19 vaccine.

"This cooperation has demonstrated that we can all work together more effectively in fighting the pandemic on all fronts," he said.

"These cultural traits are somehow registered in our 'cultural DNA' and have greatly assisted both our societies and countries to defend against the dangers of this crisis," Iliopoulos added.

The Greek Ambassador also discussed economic prospects in the post-pandemic period.

"This should include measures on many fronts, such as supporting trade, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), digitization, start-ups and the re-growth of service sector such as tourism," he said.

He added that economic recovery is achievable by coordinating policies wherever this may be possible, enabling synergies and partnerships, based on level playing field rules, reciprocity, fairness and market openness, with adherence to international and EU Law.

Noting that 2021 is the "Greece-China Year of Culture and Tourism," Iliopoulos expressed his hope to see more Chinese investments in both the primary and the secondary sectors.

cn min MOU 20201119 1b
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Organization of the Year of Culture and Tourism in 2021 was signed in Beijing on November 19, 2020.

He also highlighted the need to enhance relations in tourism, education, innovation research, start-ups, and the field of culture and creative industries and audio and visual productions.

"Greece, being an important pillar of peace, security, stability and prosperity in its region, is looking today forward to ever closer and stronger ties with China," he said.

READ MORE: Greece-China Year of Culture and Tourism 2021 begins in May.