The 1st Confucius Institute in Greece is established at AUEB. The signing of the agreement takes place in Beijing in the presence of Presidents Karolos Papoulias and Hu Jintao (23-6-2008)

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The Rector of the Athens University of Economics and Business, Prof. Gregory Prastacos participated in the official visit of the President of the Hellenic Replubic, Mr. Karolos Papoulias to China, in order to sign the agreement for the establishment of the Athens Business Confucius Institute at the Athens University of Economics and Business. The agreement was signed in Beijing (June 23, 2008) in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Replubic, Mr. Papoulias and the President of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Hu Jintao.

iThe Confucius Institute is a non-profit public institute which aims at promoting Chinese language and

culture and supporting local Chinese teaching internationally through affiliated Confucius Institutes. Confucius was a famous thinker, educator and philosopher in Chinese history. His doctrine has a very important influence throughout the world. To name

this institute after him shows the longevity and profundity of Chinese language and culture. It also embodies the development trend of the integration of Chinese language and culture into the world in the new century. Branches of the Business Confucius

Institute have been created in a number of world-reputed Universities (e.g. London School of Economics, University of London, University of Paris, University of Rome, University College Dublin, Free University of Berlin, etc) in more than 36 countries and

all five continents.

iThe Senate of AUEB approved the establishment of the Business Confucius Institute in Athens University of Economics and Business (13/3/2008). It will be the first Business Confucius Institute in Greece with a mission of promoting Chinese language and culture, and enhancing educational and research cooperation with Chinese Universities in the field of Economics and Business Administration Science. This aim will be fulfilled by further teaching of the Chinese language, organization of happenings for the promotion of the Chinese culture and by seminars regarding Economic and Business Administration Science.

iThe foundation of this institute will lead to better cooperation between AUEB and Chinese Universities through student exchange programs, giving all needed information to Greek students who wish to study in China and to Chinese students who wish to study in Greece, and through improving existing Post-Graduate Programs (International MBA and the brand new Masters programs in International Marketing and in Finance and Accounting).

Given the fact that the Athens University of Economics and Business is active in international programs concerning Business Administration and the fact that it maintains long-lasting relations with enterprises, the Athens Business Confucius Institute could constitute an important "bridge" between Greek and Chinese enterprises and promote further collaboration of two countries in the field of economy.

In a period at which the relations between Greece and China are excellent, the establishment of the Business Confucius Institute in Athens constitutes an essential move for further collaboration between these countries in educational, economic and cultural issues.