China and Europe: Working Together towards a Prosperous Future

The World Bank predicts in its April 2023 East Asia and Pacific Economic Update titled “Reviving Growth” that the anticipated decline in advanced economies’ growth could be mostly balanced out by signs of improvement in China’s economy. This has prompted heads of state and chief executives of global corporations to visit China one after another, recognizing that China and its market are not an option, but a necessity.

The China-European Union economic and trade relations are centered on mutual benefit, and the German Economic Institute reported that German corporations invested a record 11.5 billion euros in China in 2022. Many companies have strong and productive relationships with local partners in China and are optimistic about China’s economic outlook and potential, according to recent interviews.

The French bosses have returned from China with confidence in the country’s potential and intend to continue their investments there. In Greece, the local tourism stakeholders and people hold the Chinese people in high regard and are eagerly waiting to host them.

According to Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, the return of Chinese tourists will help the Greek tourism industry to perform well, despite recent difficulties. He stated that Chinese tourists are interested in Greek culture and civilization, which have a long history, and that Greece is preparing to welcome them. Ioanna Papadopoulou, director of communications and marketing of the Athens International Airport, said that after travel restrictions are lifted, the Chinese market is expected to be one of Greece’s fastest developing markets.

The direct flight between Athens and Beijing, which began in 2017, doubled the number of Chinese arrivals at the Athens International Airport in just two years. Furthermore, the launch of the direct air link between Athens and Shanghai, in addition to the Athens-Beijing line, is a promising start for 2023.

In Italy, Cristiano Varotti, chief representative of the Italian National Tourist Board in China, stated that the country is anticipating more Chinese tourists. He mentioned that Chinese travel agencies are now focused on providing high-quality travel plans that cater to their clients’ more sophisticated needs.

He also said that Sicily and the islands, ski resorts in the Alps, and some small towns are new attractions for Chinese travelers. Italy was the 11th market for China in terms of total international arrivals in 2019, and there is room for growth, especially regarding Chinese tourists’ spending abroad. Varotti plans to hold a roadshow in China in the near future to meet with Chinese companies and make himself available to them.

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