SHANGHAI, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing China International Import Expo (CIIE) is a "historic" event that will help elevate Greece-China cooperation to a new level, said a Greek official.
"It signifies not only a more open Chinese economy but also a more mature one which is pivoting toward internal consumption," George Katrougkalos, Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, told Xinhua in an interview.
The expo will help more countries participate in the opening of China and is good for the world in regards to creating an important boost for international commerce when the world is facing trade rows, he said. "We have the same understanding as China that the commerce must be free."
The CIIE, the world's first import-themed national-level expo, is being held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10, gathering more than 3,600 companies from different countries and regions. Greece has 17 companies attending the fair with a focus on investment, tourism and agriculture.
"We already have very good economic cooperation, but it mostly focuses on transport and logistics," he said. "Now we want to develop cooperation in other areas such as agriculture with our rich biodiversity and high-quality agricultural products which will fit into the Chinese market."
Katrougkalos said China's new concrete measures announced at the CIIE such as faster customs clearance will help more fresh Greece farm produce to be delivered.
"Tourism is also a very reasonable sector because China is a leading source of outbound tourists in the world," he said. "And we are very interested in more cooperation in fields where China is becoming a pioneer, such as information technology and artificial intelligence."
Companies from Greece have made good contacts at the CIIE, he said, calling the expo a major platform for fruitful business exchanges.
"It has become an institution, and I think it will become better and better every year," he added.