China’s outgoing ambassador to Greece Du Qiwen says the country’s shipping community have shown competitive advantage in the face of economic crisis.
Their “broad-mindedness and indomitable spirit will see the Greeks triumph over the current challenges and hardships they face”, declared
China’s ambassador Du as he prepared to return to Beijing ending his two year and five month mission in Athens.
In an open letter published just before his departure, the popular ambassador had much encouragement for the country which is struggling to put its economy back on track.
“Since ancient times, Greece has been a center for shipping, trade and exchanges between nations. Nowadays, with changes taking place in global production networks, the country’s geographical advantages as a crossroads connecting Europe, Asia and Africa have become even more prominent,” Du said.
“The revival of the port of Piraeus and the trend shown by trans national enterprises such as Hewlett-Packard and Huawei are clear evidence the time has come for Greece to do a good job transforming its location advantages into an effective competitive edge.
“Encouragingly, through the years of severe crisis, rather than being weakened, some of the Greek economy’s competitive advantages have grown stronger. Greek shipowners have begun to order new vessels in serious numbers, further consolidating their leading role in world shipping,” said Du.
He also noted the other commercial pillar of the Greek economy, tourism “like a bonfire in the depths of winter, keeps bringing pleasant surprises”. Ambassador Du said tourism is a fast-growing industry in the era of globalisation. “The advantagous position Greece is enjoying in this latest wave of global tourism growth is the envy of many the world over,” said the ambassador.
Greece has a population of 11m, which the ambassador said is equal to 1/120th of China’s. “A small boat is easy to turn around, a small population is easy to feed well.”