Business Confucius Institute was founded in Athens in 2009. Since its inauguration in October of that year it has attempted to undertake cultural and educational initiatives. It has, for instance, contributed to the organisation of two international conferences on philosophy and the development of Tibet in June and November 2011 respectively. Additionally, the organisation of three Sino-Greek business conferences should be also noted. The last one took place on 28 April 2014. Former Greek Minister of Finance and current Governor of the Bank of Greece Mr Yannis Stournaras and Chinese Ambassador to Greece Mr Zou Xiaoli attended the event.
Furthermore, Confucius Institute plays a significant role for the promotion of Chinese language in Greece. As its Director Ms Yang Xiuquin explains on chinaandgreece.com ‘approximately 300 Greek students learn Chinese on an annual basis and they are able to have a good command of the language after two years of lessons’. It is also interesting that Confucius Institute co-operates with the Greek Ministry of Education for the introduction of Chinese to Greek public schools. Ms Yang Xiuquin asserts on chinaandgreece.com that ‘the first pilot programme applied in two Greek schools since November 2013 has been highly successful’. This programme will be expanded in nine experimental high schools from October 2014 onwards. Chinese volunteers wil lteach Greek pupils. MsYang Xiuquin places particular emphasis on the volunteering character of the project and is leading the preparations for the hospitality of teachers who will travel from China to Greece this autumn.