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Speech by Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli at the Launching Ceremony of the Chinese Pavilion at the 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF)



Your Excellency, Prime Minister Tsipras,

Ministers of the Greek government,

Mr. Zhang Wei, Vice-Chairman of China Chamber of International Commerce(CCIC),

Mr. Tathos Tzikas, President of TIF,

Mr. Ling Wen, CEO of Shenhua Group,

Dear guests,

Good morning! First of all, I would like to express our gratitude to Prime Minister Tripras, who is honouring the launching ceremony of the Chinese Pavilion with his presence and remarks. This evening at the opening event of the 82nd TIF, I will have the honour to read out a congratulatory message from H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China. This fully demonstrates the great importance attached to and the support China's participation in TIF as the honoured country enjoys from the leaderships of the two countries, which further enhances our confidence to fulfill this important role well.

China is once again the honoured country of TIF after 19 years, which represents a new milestone in our bilateral relations and bears testament to increased mutual understanding and trust between the two governments and two peoples in recent years and our joint efforts in overcoming challenges for the realization of mutual benefit and win-win results. It will also open broader prospects for common development and inject new vigour in connectivity and economic integration in the Balkans and East Mediterranean.

Northern Greece, where Thessaloniki is located, used to be an important link of the Ancient Silk Road connecting Europe with Asia and made outstanding contributions to the progress of human civilization. Today, as the point where the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century and the Silk Road Economic Belt converge, northern Greece is demonstrating great vitality and tremendous potential for development. China highly appreciates the support and participation of Greece in the "Belt and Road" Initiative. We are ready to work with Greece and other countries in the region to give full play to the Silk Road spirit of "peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit", and take full advantage of the opportunities TIF affords, marking a new chapter in the development of the "Belt and Road".

Finally, I would like to thank the Organizing Committee of the 82nd TIF, Enterprise Greece, CCIC as well as the local governments of Thessaloniki, Shanghai Municipality, Anhui Province, Guizhou Province, and Shantou City for their efforts in support of the participation of Chinese businesses in this wonderful platform. I believe that with joint efforts of business communities and people from all walks of life in both countries, China's participation in the 82nd TIF will prove a tremendous success!

Thank you all!



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