The collaboration between Greek shipowners and Chinese shipyards was at the focus of a meeting between Maritime Affairs and Shipping Policy minister Yiannis Diamantidis and representatives of the Greek-Chinese Chamber on Monday, ahead of the minister's upcoming visit to China.

The Chamber delegation, which included representatives of member-companies who will be accompanying the minister to China, discussed with Diamantidis such matters as the lending terms of Chinese banks to Greek shipowners in the context of broader discussions recently underway, and stressed the need for the creation of a Greek Shipbuilding in China Special Fund with the collaboration of both sides.

The meeting also touched on matters concerning the logistics and more general issues of maritime and Greek shipping.

Maritime Affairs minister leaving for China on Saturday

Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis will be leaving for Beijing at noon on Saturday and will be holding meetings with representatives of Chinese banks, maritime company officials and the president of the Cosco group, Jiafu Wei.

The minister will be accompanied by about 20 shipowners and representatives of maritime companies, since the action plan includes the activation of funding by the biggest Chinese banks amounting to 5 billion dollars to the Greek shipowners for the building of ships of theirs in Chinese shipyards.

Diamantidis on Monday cited what he called the significant presence of Greek shipping representatives in the group he will lead on an official visit to China.

Diamantidis was responding to a tabled question by main opposition New Democracy (ND) MP Yiannis Plakiotakis.

The minister said the purpose of the trip is to promote Greek ocean-going shipping interests in what is now the world's second largest economy, prospects for more shipbuilding contracts in China and implementing bilateral cooperation, as envisioned in a relevant Sino-Greek memorandum.