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Cultural centers in Athens, Beijing to boost ties: officials

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Cultural centers in Athens, Beijing to boost ties: officials

2014-05-07 02:06:44 GMT2014-05-07 10:06:44(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ATHENS, May 6 (Xinhua) — The creation of cultural centers in Athens and Beijing would further boost cooperation between Greece and China, officials said Tuesday.

“We put as primary goal the creation of the Greek House of Culture in Beijing, while China prepares to establish a Centre of Chinese Culture in Athens,” Greek Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos told a press conference held in the Museum of Acropolis.

Athens’ plan is part of a wider program regarding the reconstruction of the Greek Foundation of Culture and its branches to major countries of the world, the Greek official explained.

The aim is to turn the Foundation into a strong institutional pillar of cultural diplomacy for Greece by promoting the accomplishments of Greek culture all over the globe.

In this context Greece and China will further deepen and expand their cooperation in this sector.

Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli said during the press conference that “Greece is considered among the good and important friends of China. Since now, we have developed cooperation of strategic importance in boosting the economies.”

“We should enhance also our cultural exchanges in art foundations, research centers, museums, universities, and other institutions,” said the ambassador.

Talks between Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao this week included the details for the creation of the cultural center in Athens in the next months, the Ambassador said.

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Chinese Developers Set to Increase Investment In Foreign Real Estate

Chinese developers have been purchasing big real estateprojects in the world’s most important cities in the past year. They will continue the shopping spree this year, with other Chinese groups to follow the trend soon, according to real estate analysts.

Greenland Holding Group Co., a state-owned developer that built one of China’s tallest towers, on Tuesday bought the historic Ram Brewery Site in southwest London. The Shanghai-based company said it plans to spend $1billon to purchase and develop the place. Separately, it announced plans to invest another $1 billion in a residential tower in the Canary Wharf financial district.

Greenland’s investment marks the beginning of a new wave of shopping spree. Last year, it branched out into the U.S. and Australia. The company aims to generate up to 25 percent of revenue from overseas as it seeks to diversify from the volatile home market, according to David Green-Morgan, global capital markets research director at Jones Lang LaSalle. It is also looking at places like Canada, France and Singapore other than London, where prominent Chinese developers including Dalian Wanda Group and Chinese institutions such as Ping An Insurance have already invested.

 Greg Penn, managing director of capital markets at CBRE Asia, said other Chinese investors, such as high net-worth individuals, pension funds and insurance companies, will probably venture overseas as their developer peers continue to be active abroad. “Other Chinese groups will follow because they will see that their peers in the industry have had success investing into the overseas market. That will give them comfort and that will induce other sources of Chinese capital to invest overseas,” he said.

Penn said Chinese investors will be more active in Europe and the Pacific, especially Australia. He said they may even enter Brazil and India because of the potential growth of those markets.