TIF brings Greece and China closer Chinese New Year events begin

Monday, 13 February, 2017

TIF brought Greece and China closer today, sending a message of cooperation during the opening ceremony of the Chinese New Year celebrations at the South Gate of Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre. Today's ceremony marks the beginning of a number of events which will culminate this September, at the 82nd TIF, where China will be the honoured country. During the event, the flags of Greece and China were raised and the countries’ national anthems were performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Municipality of Thessaloniki. A unit of the 3rd Army Corps served as the honour guard, while the symbol of Greek-Chinese cooperation was also presented.

“Greece and China are two great civilisations that illuminated the minds of the world. It is time to transform this historical relationship into an economic one”, noted the President of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Tassos Tzikas, noting that Thessaloniki in particular served as a historical meeting place of the two civilisations as part of the ancient Silk Road, and can once again become what it was in the past. “China is in our hearts, because Greece is also in the heart of China”, he added, explaining that this day marked the beginning of a rich schedule of events that will culminate at the 82nd TIF, where China will be the honoured country.

In turn, Mr Zou Xiaoli, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, stated: “At this moment of shared joy, we will exhibit a spirit of entrepreneurship and unity for the coming year”. He added that Thessaloniki was an important hub in the ancient Silk Road and left an indelible mark on the history of civilisation. He characterised TIF as the jewel of the city, noting that in 1998 China participated in the Fair as the first honoured country in the history of the institution, and would be returning in the same role at the 82nd TIF. In fact, he stressed that TIF is an important gateway for the entry of Chinese merchandise into Europe. “I believe that the 82nd TIF will attract an unprecedented number of local and international enterprises”, he added.

“Beautiful things in Greece begin in Thessaloniki”, stated the Mayor of Marathon and President of the Amphictyony of Ancient Greek Cities, Mr Ilias Psinakis, who also referred to the efforts taking place at the local government level in regard to Greek-Chinese cooperation. “2017 is a tremendous opportunity for Greece through China, a country that wants to help and be helped. We must seize it”, he added.