Greece's PM Talk up Trade in China

Created: 2013-05-17 14:45 EST

Category: China

Trade and investment topped the agenda as Greece’s Prime Minister met Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing today.

The main goal of Samaras' visit is to push ahead privatization of Greece's state-owned assets, according to reports by Chinese media.

The head of Greece's privatization agency accompanied Samaras on his state visit that kicked off on Wednesday (May 15).

Chinese shipping group COSCO is considering investing one billion euros, or around $1.3 billion USD, in Greece's largest port at Piraeus.

After securing the unlocking of bailout funding from its international lenders, Athens is turning its focus to investments to jump start the country's slumping economy, which is in its sixth straight year of recession.

Greece, and the rest of Europe have been struggling to get out of their economic slump, and have been looking to China for new opportunities.

But even as Europe looks for trade from China, it is wary of unequal competition from Chinese businesses, many of which have state backing. The European Commission recently approved punitive duties on cheap Chinese solar panel imports. The Commission is also on the verge of approving an investigation into unfair trade practices by Chinese telecom companies, Huawei and ZTE.

During a meeting on Thursday (May 16), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang asked visiting Samaras to help head off those trade restrictions.