'Crete meets China' held in Athens

Updated: 2013-05-28 05:21


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ATHENS - The age-long history of friendship and cooperation between China and Greece as well as the prospects of further enhancement of bilateral ties in fields including investments, tourism and culture, were reaffirmed on Monday during a conference held in Athens.

The theme of the event which closed the curtains of a four-day grand exhibition of traditional Cretan products put on display in the Greek capital was "Crete meets China."

The aim of the event, which was organized by the Hellenic Chinese Chamber in collaboration with the Region of Crete under the auspices of the Chinese embassy in Athens and Greek ministries, was to promote the unique characteristics of the southern Aegean Sea Island, its rich civilization, tourism destinations, gastronomical interests and investment opportunities to potential Chinese entrepreneurs and visitors.

"Out in the dark blue sea there lays an island called Crete, a rich and lovely land, washed by the waves on every side. When we come to think of Crete these verses from Homer from Ulysses always come first on our mind," Du Qiwen, Chinese ambassador to Greece, said while addressing the conference.

"Today's conference is held at a very fortunate time. It is expected to play an important role, to give additional push to the further development of cooperation and exchanges between our two countries," Du said, referring to the recent official visit of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to China.

Greek Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni who joined the diplomatic and business delegation to China two weeks ago, shared the same strong confidence for the brighter future of bilateral collaboration.

"It is clear that the course of Greek-Chinese relations have entered a new era," she said, delivering a speech during Monday's event.

"We invite Chinese citizens to visit Greece and the Greeks to visit the fascinating country of China, which will further enhance cultural understanding and establish the excellent relations between our countries," she said.

"We invite you to investigate and support all the endeavors made by the Region of Crete for the promotion of Cretan local products to China, as well as for the systematic exchange of tourists between the two people, as Crete offers infrastructures for tourists that look for variety and have many interests," Stavros Arnaoutakis, Governor of Region of Crete, added after a thorough presentation of the island, its history and investment opportunities.