by Symela Touchtidou @stouchtidou

The Board of Directors of China–CEEC Interbank Association, on February 8,  gave the green light for the Hellenic Development Bank (HDB) to join the Association, saying it recognizes the contribution of HDB in financing the real economy.

The China – CEEC Interbank Association was established in 2012 and its Secretariat is based at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

It is an initiative of the Chinese government to promote relations between the 17 Central and Eastern Europe Countries (CEEC) and China, within the framework of the “Silk Road Economic Belt”.  The 17 + 1 countries agreed on closer economic co-operation in the fields of investment, transport, finance, science, education and culture.

The 17 CEECs are : Greece, Estonia, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Slovenia.

Hellenic Development Bank says that it joins the Association “with the central goal of financing initiatives that support sustainable growth, in line with the 3 general objectives set by the European Union:

  • reorienting capital flows to sustainable investments
  • managing financial risks deriving by climate change, environmental degradation and social issues
  • enhancing transparency.”

“Greece returns to the epicenter of strong economies investment plans” HDB President and CEO Athina Chatzipetrou said. “HDB regains its position in the Greek and international financial scene. From now on, HDB will play a leading role in as many financial schemes as possible that strengthen entrepreneurship and extroversion of the Greek economy. “

“17 plus 1 could make more than 18” says Chinese President Xi Jinping

Delivering a keynote speech at the virtual China-CEEC Summit, on February 9, the President of China, Xi Jinping, said that “China-CEEC cooperation is based on mutual respect and has no political strings attached.”

Chinese employees inspect ship repair work at Piraeus port, Greece, Feb. 3, 2021. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)

“Guided by the conviction that ’17 plus 1 could make more than 18,’ we have set up a multi-dimensional cooperation covering 20-plus sectors to ensure the participation of all CEE countries” he added.

In November 2019, during his visit in Greecfe and the talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Xi said that “the China-CEECs cooperation mechanism enriches the meaning of the China-European Union comprehensive strategic partnership, and China is willing to work with Greece to consolidate the cooperation mechanism and jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade to achieve all-win results.”

The Chinese President visited China COSCO Shipping at Piraeus Port and called the port ‘the Head of the dragon’, referring to China’s Belt & Road Initiative, reminiscent of the Silk Road