“Association of Banking & Financial Executives of Hellenic Shipping Establishment of Representative Office in Pudong – Shanghai”
The first-ever Pudong Shipping Week was kicked off in Shanghai on Dec 4, consisted of a “1+40” framework, featuring one leading conference and 40 industry-led activities categorized into shipping technological innovation, shipping law arbitration, shipping finance and insurance, shipping culture and sports, and other themed seminars. Following a four-year break, Marintec China 2023 took place at the same time with the participation of thousands of exhibitors from all over the world including Greek companies.
Following the strategic decision of the Chinese government made the strategic decision to build an international shipping center in Shanghai, the Pudong New Area undertakes the main strategic tasks of establishing the Pilot Free Trade Zone of China (Shanghai-China Free Trade Zone) aiming at its transformation into a pioneering business modernization area. Pudong being home to more than 11,000 companies in the entire shipping industry chain, has improved the whole life cycle service system for shipping talents, and introduced a series of reforms and innovations in areas such as cabotage, the coding system for ship procurement and cross-border financial services. Pudong now provides a good ecosystem for the shipping industry with a variety of applications capable of serving various requirements and industrial collaborations.
One of the frameworks signed was the establishment of the Association’s Representative Office that was sealed with two prestigious events. The Signing Ceremony that took place on Monday, December 4th, 2023, at the International Convention Centre in the course of the opening ceremony of the Pudong Shipping Week and the Celebration Reception that took place on Tuesday December 5th, 2023, at Shanghai New Int’l Expo Center during the most prestigious B2B platform for the International Maritime, Marintec China Exhibition 2023.
The two events were the culmination of the Agreement between the Association of Banking and Finance Executives of Hellenic Shipping and the Lujiazui Financial City Council signed on February 10, 2023, relating to matters of common interest for both countries that can have a positive impact on the financial system of international shipping. From then until today, the Board of Directors of the two parties have worked diligently to successfully complete the Agreement on the establishment of the Association’s office.
“The expansion of the Union’s activities is the result of its strategic and political extroversion. The Representative office in Shanghai will help to stimulate communication between shipping companies and financial institutions from both international shipping centers, Greece and China, forming a mechanism for regular dialogue and mutual visits for both parties. The long-term cooperative relations between the Greek and Chinese shipping industries guarantee the development of all sectors and especially the exports of goods and services on both sides” said the Association’s President Mr. George Xiradakis who signed the relevant agreement for the establishment of the office in the international financial center of Lujiazui.
“The continuation of an efficient and transparent process for the ship financing by Greek shipowners is of the utmost importance for both the Chinese and Greek shipping industries. The Association aims to play a collective role in the establishment and promotion of Greek shipping with the Public and Private organizations of China. At the same time, the new collaboration will further assist the expansion of the Greek Shipping in the global supply chain by creating synergies with financial institutions, investment schemes, shipyards and manufacturers of marine equipment and other companies that will need financing to strengthen their relations with the Greek shipping industry ” Mr. George Xiradakis emphasized, giving the stamp of the new era of maritime financing from China.
Many people, including several Greek visitors and exhibitors attended the Celebrating Reception in which they watched videotaped messages by Mr. George Pateras, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and Mr. Theodoros Pelagidis, Deputy Governor of Bank of Greece, who both referred to the promising cooperation of the Association of Banking and Finance Executives of Hellenic Shipping with the Lujiazui Financial City Council. Mr. Pateras emphasized the importance of the initiative of the financial center of Lujiazui for the establishment of the Representative Office while Mr. Pelagidis praised the importance of the project of the Association not only for the Greek but also for the European financial system.
Τhe Secretary General of the Shanghai Financial Association, Mr. Shuai Shi, addressed the reception, expressing his satisfaction with the cooperation with the Association also proposing the creation of a working group of the two parties in order to further strengthen and formalize the cooperation. Accepting a relevant invitation from the Board of Directors of the Association, he promised that a large delegation from the Shanghai Financial Association will come to Greece for this purpose, while at the same time he would welcome a Greek delegation to Shanghai.
“Currently, there are 1,736 Shanghai-based financial institutions employing 470,000 people. The leasing industry in Shanghai accounts for about one-third of China’s total, while half of the top 20 leasing companies in China are located in Shanghai and specifically in Pudong,” Mr. Shi Shuai said.
Mr. Xiao Jian, General Manager of Shanghai Lujiazui Financial City Authority, emphasized the importance of cooperation with the Association as well as the innovation that such cooperation brings. The successful cycle of cooperation and the establishment of the Association’s office best highlights Lujiazui’s new strategy of attracting international organizations and enterprises with the aim of creating a global financial and financing center. The benefits provided to enterprises interested in setting up in Pudong are truly special and in tune with the most modern business requirements. Mr. Xiao especially thanked the President and the Board of Directors of the Association and promised a cordial cooperation with the Greek shipping industry.
Ms. Dong Xiao Ling, Vice Chairman FTZ Commission of Commerce, thanked Mr. Xiradakis for the recognition of her work and promised that her team would respond to the new challenges especially after the signing of the Agreement. “As we said in our official speech, we will plan next year’s event, while there will be constant cooperation to achieve the goals of both parties,” Ms. Dong emphasized. Finally, he hoped that the cooperation next year would yield good results and be a good start for everyone.
Mr. Thodore Vokos, Managing Director of Posidonia Exhibitions addressed a warm congratulatory greeting while the Naval Envoy of Greece in Shanghai, Commodore Stavros Kakarouhas, the President of the Union of Hellenic Shipping Brokerage Companies and CEO of Optima Shipping Services, Mr. Dimitris Koukas, and the President of Propeller Club Piraeus and CEO of Franman Mr. Kostis Fragoulis as well as representatives of Chinese banks and leasing companies also attended the event.
The Association warmly thanks its sponsors, Optima Shipping Services S.A., Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd, Tsakos Group, Seanergy Maritime Holdings, NGM ENERGY S.A., Arcadia Shipmanagement Co Ltd, Law Office Theodore V.Sioufas & Partners, Intermodal Shipbrokers Co, Franman, Charterwell Maritime S.A., J.Laliotis Maritime Group, Marine Tours, Major & Grove Int’l Law Firm, Hellas Group, Moore Greece., for their valuable support.
The Board of Directors
George Xiradakis-President, Vassilis Mantzavinos-Vice President Α’
George Laios-Vice President Β’, Konstantinos Economou-General Secretary
Katerina Fitsiou-Treasurer, Konstantinos Ioannou-Dep.Gen.Secretary
Krystallia Markaki-B.o.D Member
For More Information:
ASSOCIATION OF BANKING & FINANCIAL EXECUTIVES OF HELLENIC SHIPPING: https://www.hellenicshipfinanciers.gr
SHANGHAI LUJIAZUI FINANCIAL CITY http://english.pudong.gov.cn
Pudong (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Commission of Commerce – www.pudong.gov.cn
Photos from the Signing Ceremony and the reception