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English News

Piraeus Port project a role model for Sino-Greek cooperation


Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 13 Mai 2017

COSCO plans to boost the port's container traffic to 5 million TEUs by 2018, which means the port would then be among the world's 30 largest container ports, Pitsiorlas said, adding that COSCO will add new investment in the port.


By Sun Tianren from People’s Daily

The ferry terminal of the Piraeus Port photographed on May 3. In August 2016, Chinese shipping group COSCO took over the operation of the port. And now it has become a pearl along the Belt and Road under the management of COSCO. Photo : Xinhua News Agency
The ferry terminal of the Piraeus Port photographed on May 3. In August 2016, Chinese shipping group COSCO took over the operation of the port. And now it has become a pearl along the Belt and Road under the management of COSCO. Photo : Xinhua News Agency
The Piraeus Port in Greece, an early harvest project under the framework of Belt and Road Initiative, is a role model for the win-win cooperation between China and Greece, a Greek official told the People’s Daily.

The port has risen to fame after it was acquired by China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) and secured generous investment from the latter.

The port has now become a stop connecting the East and West along the Maritime Silk Road, according to Stergios Pitsiorlas, Greek Deputy Minister of Economy and Development.

Pitsiorlas believed China and Greece will profit from the Piraeus Port, while Europe and the world at large will benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative, which delivers a concept of peace and win-win outcome.

Pitsiorlas is a witness and propeller for COSCO's acquisition of the Piraeus Port, at a time during he was in charge of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) from 2015 to 2016.

COSCO agreed to acquire 67 percent of the shares of the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) in April 2016 under a deal signed with the HRADF, Greece's privatization agency. Four months later, the group officially took over the port’s business.

Despite of international financial crisis and the Greek debt crisis, the port’s loading and unloading capabilities have multiplied over the past several years.

The port’s handling capacity added to 3.36 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent container units) in 2015 from 880,000 in 2010, ranking 39th in 2016 globally up from 93rd in 2010.

COSCO plans to boost the port's container traffic to 5 million TEUs by 2018, which means the port would then be among the world's 30 largest container ports, Pitsiorlas said, adding that COSCO will add new investment in the port.

According to the agreement, COSCO will invest another 300 million euros to expand businesses involved in shipbuilding and repair, international cruise ships and car terminals.

China’s heavy investment will upgrade the operating capability of the port and lift its global status. Besides promoting Asia-Europe economic and trade ties, the investment is also expected to create more jobs in Greece and contribute to the country’s economic recovery.

Pitsiorlas said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will attend the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, less than one year after his last visit to China.

That indicates the Greek government attaches great importance to the Belt and Road Initiative and hopes to develop a closer partnership with China, Pitsiorlas said, in a hope that the forum will draw the two countries closer.