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7 months ago

Diplomatic World_nummer 56.

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© Diplomatic World Let us be guided by the successful Greek-inspired initiative “European Capitals of Culture”, an integral part of the Creative Europe programme 2014-20, whose ambition is to promote Europe’s cultural diversity and cultural heritage and to reinforce the competitiveness of our cultural and creative sectors. Brussels is at the heart of international economic diplomacy, which is a growing area in diplomacy. What particular role do you see for diplomats in relation to the facilitation of future economic deals? 34 © Diplomatic World If we think of economic relations as links interconnecting people, organizations, regions and countries, then Brussels is the right place for a diplomat. Economic diplomacy is, perhaps, the most important long-term instrument for achieving international cooperation. Here, in Brussels we have the most obvious example and one of the greatest success stories of our recent history: The creation and the function of the EU. In this context, I can not think of a better place for establishing strong economic partnerships than in the actual capital of Europe.

H.E. Eleftheria Galathianaki and Barbara Dietrich © Diplomatic World How and to what extend may Chinese investments have helped Greece to deal with the crisis? After years of financial troubles, Greece is returning to a growth path which opens up remarkable opportunities for investment and trade. Our dynamic, comprehensive and strategic partnership with China sets a solid basis for expanding our role as an important regional hub in the fields of trade, transport, energy. telecommunica-tions, logistics, culture and tourism. My country is once again taking full advantage of its unique geopolitical position as a country of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, but also, as a maritime country with great potential for advancing relations; far beyond its neighborhood. Specialists provide guidance to Chinese investors in Europe. Think for instance of the guidance that KA Legal frequently provides to foreign investors in Greece. How important is such specialist intervention to achieve the intended transactions? Greece is aware of the important role of specialists’ intervention in achieving foreign investments. Therefore, we are trying to inform them on the major recent reforms in Greece, the positive economic climate and the hospitable environment which is being created for investors and businesses that can contribute towards growth and job creation. Which new opportunities may lay ahead for Chinese investors in Europe and vice versa? As a leading maritime country, looking for new trade routes, we see new great opportunities in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. An increasing number of Greek shipowners build their ships in China, while our biggest port — the port of Piraeus where a very important investment by COSCO has been made — is becoming a global gateway to Europe for products coming from Chinese and other Asian ports, including through the Suez Canal. From Piraeus port, the merchandise can easily be transported by rail to many destinations in the Balkans and in Central Europe. 35