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Newsletter November 2014


EDF Preparing to Invest 450 Million Euro in Crete

Greece’s energy profile is rapidly improving, with new projects in the pipeline.

French energy giant EDF is preparing to invest 450 million Euro in Crete for the creation of a hybrid (hydroelectric-wind) power station with a total capacity of 190 MW, comprised of four wind farms and a hydroelectric generator.

The investment plans have already been approved by the Regulatory Authority of Energy and the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yannis Maniatis. EDF’s Greek subsidiary claims that the project will reduce the cost of energy in Crete.

According to the plans, during periods of low demand, the energy from the wind farms will be used to transfer water to the hydroelectric station’s reservoir, which will then be used to generate energy when needed.

The hydroelectric station will be constructed at Koutralia–Ano Limnia, between Iraklio and Agios Nikolaos, while the wind farms will be constructed in Spina, Plakakia, Lampini and Kali Sikia.

Greece-China Marine Cooperation Forum
Greece and China Extend Cooperation in Maritime Affairs and Other Areas

On June 20, on the occasion of the official visit to Greece by Prime Minister of China Li Keqiang, Enterprise Greece and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), organised the Greece-China Marine Cooperation Forum in Athens, at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel.

The Forum was hosted by the Greece’s Ministry for Development and Competitiveness and Ministry of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean as well as the Ministry of Commerce of China and the State Oceanic Administration of China.

The event focused on two key areas of importance to the two countries: 1) surveys of the marine system and their wider significance for the economy and environment of the two countries, and 2) the shipping industry and ways to further developing bilateral trade relations.

Central to the Forum were the more than 100 pre-scheduled business to business meetings involving more than 100 companies, including 39 from China, designed to explore avenues for growth and cooperation. In addition to maritime companies, the business meetings hosted companies active in financial services, manufacturing, construction, technology and energy.

This high-level event demonstrated the importance the both Greece and China place on further developing relations, facilitating investment, and expanding trade.

Greece, China Sign $4.6 billion in Trade, Investment Deals
China's Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Athens on June 19 for a three-day visit, during which the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to boosting bilateral trade ties. The countries, as well as private sector interests, signed a number of commerical agreements and MOUs.

At a ceremony at Zappeion in Athens, representatives from China and Greece signed agreements worth an estimated $4.6 billion. The agreements include deals to build Greek-owned ships in Chinese shipyards,  the construction of solar energy parks in Greece, and trade deals involving marble, granite, wine and olive oil.

There are also agreements on the construction of solar energy parks in Greece, and trade deals involving marble, granite, wine and olive oil.

Enterprise Greece CEO Stephanos Issaias signed two agreements regarding investment, a continuation of the MOU signed in Beijing in 2013 between China Development Bank and Enterprise Greece (then Invest in Greece), a reflection of the deep ties and long-term commitment of both sides to explore and develop investment and trade relations between Greece and China.

Three cooperation agreements regarding the financing of small and medium sized enterprises operating in China by the China Development Bank, maritime protection and the offer of services by the China Classification Society to Greek-flagged ships were signed by Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and members of the Chinese delegation headed by Premier Li Keqiang.

The Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Cooperation between the State Oceanic Administration of China (SOA) and the Greek government that will be materialised via the cooperation of scientific institutes, seminars and exchange of information and visits, refers to the cooperation of the two sides in the sectors of maritime environmental protection, development of sea resources, sea observation, forecast and warning of natural disasters as well as in the research, development and training on marine scientific issues.
Moreover, the China Classification Society's authorisation agreement on the offering of services to Greek-flagged vessels will further boost the current, stable and multilateral institutional framework of the bilateral cooperation as well as the service of the Greek vessels that are built in China or dock at Chinese ports.
The third agreement refers to the strengthening of cooperation with the China Development Bank which will offer a substantial financial assistance to small and medium sized enterprises active in China.

"Greece can become China's gateway in Europe, and the start of a European trade corridor," Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said at a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Athens seeks "to bring China even closer to Europe," Mr. Samaras said.

"Cooperation between Greece and China is always mutually beneficial," Mr. Li said, adding that Beijing would also take an interest in new Greek bond issues expected later this year.