China’s COSCO Shipping investment at Piraeus port a win-win project: Greek PM

ATHENS, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — China’s COSCO Shipping investment at Greece’s largest port is a win-win project, which has transformed Piraeus into a successful port, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at the opening of an economic forum here on Monday.

“It has been a good deal for COSCO, it has been a good deal for Greece… Piraeus has been transformed into a very successful port. We have made it very clear. We want to make it the largest port in the Mediterranean,” he said during a round table discussion, referring to Sino-Greek collaboration at Piraeus in the past decade.

COSCO Shipping acquired the majority of Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (PPA) shares in 2016 after an international tender, while the Chinese company’s subsidiary, Piraeus Container Terminal S.A. (PCT), has managed the port’s container terminal since 2009.

The image of Piraeus has improved with impressive results posted in recent years, as work for the port’s upgrade and expansion continues.

“It is a natural entry point for goods into the eastern and central Mediterranean. We want to turn Greece into a logistics hub. You can’t argue with geography. It will always take 8-9 days less for ships from the Gulf or from the East, from East Asia, to reach Europe, so I am not willing to give up this opportunity for the country,” the Greek leader added.

Mitsotakis also voiced confidence in the economic outlook for Greece, saying through such win-win investments, the Greek economy will experience a strong rebound once the pandemic recedes.

“In the post-COVID world, there will be winners and losers. I am convinced about that. I am pretty sure Greece is going to be on the side of the winners,” he said.

The prime minister believes that Greek recovery will be very robust. “In Greece, savings go up, so I think people will be looking to spend once the pandemic is over and businesses will be looking to invest,” he explained.

Foreign investors are seizing opportunities during the pandemic, he said, noting that the interest goes beyond the tourism sector, which is traditionally one of the strong pillars of the Greek economy, to high-tech products and services, green economy, agriculture, etc.

The Greek leader participated in the fifth EU-Arab World Summit, which is hosted online this year due to the pandemic, along with other European and Arab leaders. The attendees called for enhanced cooperation between the Arab world and the European Union (EU), as well as on an international level, to address the common challenges that lie ahead.

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