Greece, China sign $5.7b in trade deals as Chinese premier visits

ATHENS (AFP) - Greece and China on Thursday signed over a dozen accords worth some 3.4 billion euros ($5.7 billion) as Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang began a three-day official visit.

"Greece can become China's gateway in Europe, and the start of a European trade corridor," Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said at a joint press conference with Mr Li.

Athens seeks "to bring China even closer to Europe," Mr Samaras said.

The deals included multi-billion-dollar Chinese bank loans to build at least 10 Greek-owned ships in Chinese shipyards.

There are also agreements on the construction of solar energy parks, and trade deals involving marble, granite, wine and olive oil.