China bought most of Greece's main port and now it wants to make it the biggest in Europe

CNBC Finance 3 weeks ago

China is looking to transform Greece's Piraeus port into the biggest harbor in Europe — making it the most crucial transit hub for trade between Asia and Europe.

In 2016, China's shipping firm Cosco purchased a majority stake in Piraeus port. Situated in the Saronic Gulf, Greece's largest harbor — and Europe's seventh biggest — is at a strategic location between the Asian and European continents. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced earlier this week that Cosco would be investing about 600 million euros ($660 million) to develop Piraeus further.

"The objective is to transform it into the biggest transit hub between Europe and Asia and, potentially, the biggest port in Europe," Kostas Fragogiannis, Greece's deputy minister for foreign affairs, told CNBC Wednesday.

Rotterdam's port, in the Netherlands, is Europe's biggest harbor. It saw more than 8.6 billion containers (incoming and outgoing by sea) in 2018 — an increase from the previous year.

"The geographical advantages of Greek ports can be utilized for facilitating and increasing transfer flows from China and the Far East to the European Union, the Balkans and the Black Sea region, and vice versa," Fragogiannis told CNBC.

Since the Greek financial crisis, Beijing and Athens have deepened their links. Greece announced in August last year that it was formally joining China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — the ambitious investment plan of Xi that connects Asia, Africa and Europe.

During a visit to Athens earlier this week, Xi said: "We want to strengthen Piraeus' transshipment role and further boost the throughput capacity of China's fast sea-land link with Europe," according to Reuters.

China has made different investments in Greece, including in energy and the real estate markets.

"With his visit in Athens, the Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed his commitment to strategic infrastructure investments in Greece, as part of the Belt Road Initiative," Athanasia Kokkinogeni, Europe senior analyst at DuckerFrontier, told CNBC via email Thursday.

"Chinese investments have risen quickly, underpinning growth in the energy, telecommunications, and real estate sectors. Western firms should plan for intense Chinese competition in Europe in 2020 across most industries," she added.

Greece's Fragogiannis also told CNBC that Greece and China could announce further investment deals.

"The two parts should examine investment prospects for the Chinese companies in port development, operation and combined transport in Greece," he added.

China is the EU's biggest source of imports and its second-biggest export market. China and Europe trade on average over 1 billion euros a day, according to the European Commission.


Source link
Read also:
The New York Times › Finance › 1 month ago
China and Greece agreed on Monday to push ahead with a 600 million euros investment by COSCO Shipping into Greece's largest port, Piraeus, as part of efforts to boost its role as a hub in rapidly growing trade between Asia and Europe.
Reuters › Finance › 1 month ago
China and Greece agreed on Monday to push ahead with a 600 million euros investment by COSCO Shipping into Greece's largest port, Piraeus, as part of efforts to boost its role as a hub in rapidly growing trade between Asia and Europe.
One America News Network › Finance › 1 month ago
ATHENS (Reuters) - China and Greece agreed on Monday to push ahead with a 600 million euros investment by COSCO Shipping into Greece's largest port, Piraeus, as part of efforts to boost its role as a
The Wall Street Journal › 0 month ago
Chinese shipping giant Cosco Group plans to invest around $1 billion in Greece’s Port of Piraeus to help turn the site into a main entry point for China’s exports to Europe.
Sputnik International › 2 months ago
The Port of Piraeus, one of the largest and most important transport hubs in Greece, has undergone numerous transformations and weathered the nation's financial and political crises over the past decade.
One America News Network › 2 weeks ago
BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces dispersed by force on Friday protesters who had been blocking the entrance to the country's main Gulf Umm Qasr port near Basra and reopened it, port
Reuters › 2 weeks ago
Iraqi security forces dispersed by force on Friday protesters who had been blocking the entrance to the country's main Gulf Umm Qasr port near Basra and reopened it, port officials told Reuters.
ABC News › Finance › 2 months ago
Authorities have charged the harbor police chief in Greece's second-largest commercial port of Thessaloniki and another 17 people over alleged graft involving tugboat services to incoming ships
Reuters › 3 weeks ago
Protesters have once again blocked the entrance to Iraq's Umm Qasr commodities port near Basra, preventing employees and tankers from entering and bringing operations down by 50%, two port sources told Reuters on Monday.
Reuters › 3 weeks ago
Iraq's Khor al-Zubair commodities port near Basra reopened on Wednesday and operations resumed normally, port officials said.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR