Maritime Affairs, Islands & Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis begins an official weeklong visit to China on Sunday for meetings with government officials, representatives of Chinese banks, maritime company executives and the president of the multinational Cosco group, Wei Jiafu.

Diamantidis' closely watched visit aims to promote Greek ocean-going shipping interests in the world's second largest economy, prospects for more shipbuilding contracts in China as well as implementing bilateral cooperation foreseen in a relevant Sino-Greek memorandum -- including cooperation between ports and the countries' international organisations.

According to the Greek embassy in Beijing's press and communications office, the minister will visit the Chinese capital between Feb. 20 and Feb. 24 and Shanghai between Feb. 24 and Feb. 26.

Several Greek shipowners and representatives of maritime companies will accompany Diamantidis on the trip.