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Li’s Greek Visit Signals Investment Flow From China

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said confidence in the Greek economy is returning, as China signaled interest in investing in the Mediterranean country’s airports, railways and energy sector.

Greece’s Piraeus Port can become an entry point for Chinese goods in Europe, Li said in a speech at a conference in Athens today. Li, who is on the second day of a three-day visit to Greece, said that China wants to see a prosperous and stable Europe.

“When the Greek government issues new bonds, China will continue to be a long-term and responsible investor in those bonds,” Li said at a news briefing yesterday. Greece plans to issue a new bond this summer of duration of as much as seven years, Athens-based Imerisia newspaper reported on June 17.

Greece, which ended a four-year market exile with its first bond auction in April, is set to return to growth this year after six years of recession, according to estimates from the government, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund. Even so, its creditors refused to release a 1 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) aid disbursement yesterday amid concerns it wasn’t adhering to the terms of the aid.

Chinese investors have expressed interest in Athens International Airport and in the recently announced tender for the construction of a new airport at Kasteli, on the island of Crete, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said at a conference in Athens today.

Officials from the two countries held talks on investments including in the country’s port connection to the rest of Europe though the upgrade of its railway system, Greek food exports to China and the creation of mutual investment funds, the Greek Development Ministry said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

Greece’s energy sector was also discussed, with Chinese investors expressing interest in the country’s power grid operator Admie, a senior government official, who asked not to be identified as the talks are confidential, said yesterday.

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