ATHENS, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Lujiazui Financial City Council in Shanghai, China, and the Association of Banking and Financial Executives of Hellenic Shipping signed a strategic cooperation agreement on shipping finance during an online event held on Friday.
Under the agreement, the two parties will establish a collaborative network to stimulate communication among shipping companies and financial institutions from both international shipping centers, speakers from both sides said.
Greece's Deputy Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Kostas Katsafados told the event that the agreement "will further strengthen the relations of the countries in the financing sector."
The signing of the agreement symbolizes the lasting collaboration and strong bonds between the two maritime centers, he said.
Over the last decades, Greece and China have built a strong complementary relationship based on the sea. Greeks control 25 percent of the world's ocean-going merchant fleet and the synergies with China, the world's largest exporter, are obvious, he explained.
Greek shipowners have built more than a thousand ships in China's shipyards over the past 15 years, worth over 50 billion U.S. dollars, while Chinese banks' exposure in Greek shipping is 3 billion U.S. dollars, Katsafados said.
Huang Hongyuan, representative of the chairman unit of the Lujiazui Financial City Council and vice president of the Bank of Communications, signed the agreement in China and George Xiradakis, president of the Association of Banking and Financial Executives of Hellenic Shipping, in Greece.
Huang said he was confident that through the agreement the two sides will be able to leverage complementary advantages and those provided by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to promote the two countries' collaboration in finance, trade and other areas.
He also mentioned the untapped potential in financial cooperation, saying that a China-Greece financial "Silk Road" will underpin the development of the shipping industry on both sides, as Shanghai offers a variety of financial products and services as an international financial hub.
Xiradakis said he hoped that "a new era in international shipping financial system has begun." ■