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Address by Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli at the ZET Day event

Distinguished Minister Fortakis, CEOs, directors,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to offer congratulations on the opening of ZTE Day event. You certainly do not need my presentation to know about ZTE Corporation, for the telecommunication giant has already won worldwide reputation through its highly competitive products and services. What makes me feel proud of ZTE Corporation as Chinese Ambassador to Greece is that, since entering the Greek market in 2006, through tireless cooperation with local operators and partners, ZTE Greece has made due contribution to the economic and social development of Greece while achieving sustained growth of its own businesses, which has once again demonstrated the potential for growth of the Greek nation, and its efforts of overcoming the crisis can well be translated into a process of fruitful cooperation with outstanding Chinese companies like ZTE Corporation.

Just as ZTE Corporation is focused on solutions in the information industry, my job is to offer solutions for the development of China-Greece relations. Of course, it calls on team work and the efforts of everyone to find and implement a solution. Hereby I would like to share with you a few of my thoughts on how to further deepen cooperation between our two countries.

First and foremost, China-Greece relations are entering a new era of strategic cooperation. This year marks the 10th anniversary of  China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership. In 2006, with the visit to China by then Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis, it was made the historic decision of establishment of China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership. Ten years on, when Prime Minister Tsipras visited China last July, our partnership started to show new and broad prospects. Greece has been defined as a key link of the twenty-first century silk roads on land and on the sea, which enables Greece to be both an important gateway for the trade between China and Europe and an indispensable bridge for the exchanges and mutual learning between the Eastern and Western civilizations. It is fair to say that in the history of China-Greece relations, the development strategies of the two countries have never been so closely aligned and the futures of the two countries so inter-linked. The two ancient nations of great civilizations are marching hand-in-hand towards their common goal of rejuvenation.

Second, more efficient structures of communication and cooperation still need to be set up. This represents a pressing and demanding task for policy-makers and stake-holders, so as to effectively integrate resources of the two countries, both tangible and intangible, to further create synergy and tap the tremendous potential for cooperation. Although we are  faced with difficulties due to institutional constraints, cultural traditions and stereotyped ways of thinking, we must not wait to take further steps, for there is no option. In recent years, some successful attempts have been made thanks to the joint efforts of two sides. For instance, we have held two sessions of China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Forum. In particular, the 2015 China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Year harvested over 30 outcomes, which facilitated in a remarkable way bilateral cooperation in shipping industry, sea tourism, marine research and environmental protection, underwater archaeology, etc.. The above-mentioned events also helped relevant  institutions, companies and products expand their influence in each others country. Last month, Greece was the guest country of honour at the international island tourism conference held in China, which saw the participation of the municipalities of Lefkada, Minos, and Zakynthos and gave strong promotion to island tourism in Greece. I am glad to inform you that the first China-Greece City Forum is to be held in Athens on November 11. Local government and business representatives of Chinese cities are coming to Greece to explore with their Greek counterparts the ways to further promote economic and cultural exchanges between cities of the two countries. The two sides have basically agreed to take turns to hold the city forum every year, making the event an innovative platform for bilateral cooperation. In 2017 China will be the honoured country for the Thessaloniki International Fair. 2017 has also been declared to be the Year of China-Greece cultural exchanges and creative industry cooperation. The two events are expected to be new milestones in economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries in light of our efforts to make bilateral relations even closer.

Third, science and technology cooperation can and should play a major role. Today, science and technology are everywhere in our daily lives and affect every aspect and moment of social-economic progress. Even thousand-year-old cultural relics need innovative technology in order to get reborn. During Prime Minister Tsipras' visit to China, I had the privilege to witness together with Minister Fortakis the inauguration of the China-Greece Laser Technology Joint Laboratory on Cultural Heritage in the Palace Museum of Beijing. It is just amazing to imagine in the near future, piles of dusted Chinese cultural heritage works will shine in the sun again through a cutting-edge know-how created by Greek scientists in a joint laboratory in Beijing. Coming to the information industry, as far as I know, ZTE is in talks with various levels of the Greek government, institutions and businesses on projects of smart cities, smart tourism and broadband-wired households. During his visit to China, Prime Minister Tsipras put forward the suggestion of establishing a scientific&technological park near the Port of Piraeus meeting with the top management of ZTE Corporation and other Chinese leading companies, which I believe will be delivered under concerted efforts of both sides. In the latter half of this year, China and Greece will jointly hold the 2nd ASEM Seminar on Science, Technology, Innovation for Sustainable Development. All these events will provide good opportunities for expanding cooperation between China and Greece and between China and Europe in the field of technological innovation and greatly boost economic and social development in both countries.


Ladies and gentlemen,

The success of ZET Corporation in Greece is a shared success of both sides and an outstanding example of win-win situation, which has further enhanced our confidence for deepening future cooperation. I believe that adding the wing of technology, China-Greece cooperation will fly even higher and further to bring benefit for peoples of the two countries. Bearing all these in mind, I wish the ZTE Day event a full success ! Thank you!

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