greece and china

Greco-Chinese Trade



port drive (2) in the driver’s seat
cargo access desperate
key (2) point (3) chance (2)
niche deputy up till now
rush attract to privatize
wary field (4) on its knees
crisis terminal real estate
terms favorable it works both ways
follow dwarf (2) get a foothold
adopt emerge opportunity
hope ancient all the time
boost beneath Acropolis
asset spectrum hour of need






Port of Pareas

At the southern Greek port of Pareas, the Chinese are in the driving seat.

China’s state shipping company Costco, paid 500 million euro for this cargo terminal, building new equipment.

It’s Greece’s largest foreign investment, and gives China a key access point to Europe.

“Everywhere is a business chance, I finance business chance,” said Zhang Anming, Deputy General Manager, Pareas Terminal.
“And China is interested in a business opportunity here?”
“Sure we finance a business opportunity here, and up till now we are successful here.”

Chinese Investments

Greece’s rush to privatize has attracted the Chinese, interested in ports, airports and real estate. China has arrived as Greece is on its knees, desperate for foreign investment. European companies are still wary of this country.

So it’s left the field clear to the emerging economies of the east. They can get a foothold here in the European Union on very favorable terms.

Greek Exports to China

But it works both ways. This drinks factory has tripled its exports by sales to China. Other businesses are following, but they are still dwarfed by Chinese exports here.

Evi Morfonidi, Export Manager of Frutop Drinks, explains. “Now due to the crisis in Greece, and due to the market reduction, Greek companies have a sense to made a big effort to enter new markets. And China should be one of the first choices.

As our company has been welcomed in Chinese market, other companies can do that idea as well.”

Language Courses

Greeks see opportunities in China that they lack here. Eight years ago, Chinese was a niche offering in this language school. Now, it’s the second most popular, with a hundred students.

“We hear about China and Chinese people and Chinese investments in Greece all the time, and I think that’s why many young people learn Chinese,” said a Greek student. “We hope we can get a job and use the Chinese we learn.”

“We aren’t probably going to find work in Greece for two years. But with the Chinese language, this is a really important asset for us because in that way, we will have a way out of the country, and probably work abroad,” said another student.

Chinese Tourism

Beneath the Acropolis, another growing exchange. Chinese tourists here are still fewer than from the West, but they rose last year by 25%, a boost for Greece’s biggest industry.

Today these ancient nations are at oppose ends of the economy spectrum. And the sick man of Europe is turning to the Asian tiger in its hour of need.


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1. “At the southern Greek port of Pareas, the Chinese are in the driver’s seat.” What does this mean?

2. “Greece is on its knees.” Explain what this means. Why did Costco buy the cargo terminal? Why did the former owners sell it?

3. European companies are eager to invest in Greece. Yes or no?

4. “It works both ways.” What does this mean? Describe the export of drinks to China. Why has this happened?

5. Greek exports to China exceed Chinese exports to Greece. True or false?

6. Has the language school been changing or has it remained the same? The students want to……….

7. What is Greece’s biggest industry? What is happening?

8. “Today these two ancient nations are at opposite ends of the economic spectrum.” What does this mean?

A. There is much trade between my country and China. True or false?

B. What does your country export to China? What does it import from China?

C. Are companies from China investing in your country? Do business from your country invest in China?

D. Do Chinese tourists visit your country?

E. What will happen in the future?

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