China COSCO Holdings Company Limited, a shipping and logistics services supplier in China, announced that the company is going to invest over $552 million euros in the Port of Piraeus in Greece. The company will work on the investment in the next five years.
Before the deal, Greek premier visited Beijing and Shanghai to find the proper investors and Greece’s parliament finally decided to sell the stake of Port of Piraeus to China Cosco. China Cosco offered a 67% stake in Port of Piraeus and became the majority stake holder which cost over $400 million US dollars. Piraeus is not only the home of Greece’s shipping industry, but also one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean. By investing in Greek Port of Piraeus, China Cosco could use Port of Piraeus as a transshipment hub for exports to Europe.
Cosco’s president Xu Lirong said in a meeting with Greek premier that the company will mainly invest in the cruise and shipping industry. In addition, they will also promote the development of facilities and services in Piraeus. “Greece, which is the first stop in China’s way to Europe, can become a bridge between China and the West, between Asia and Europe,” the Greek premier said. According to a report, this deal is beneficial to China Cosco in several aspects. For example, the transportation costs will lower by 10% for transporting goods from China to Europe.
However, since May, dockworkers went on strikes in fear of losing their jobs because of privatization. The strike interfered the cargo operation and services for cruise ships. The strikes stopped in June but the workers said they would go on to abstain from overtime and weekend shifts.
“We are certain that Piraeus will open new prospects for the broadening of Greece-China cooperation in transport, infrastructure, telecoms and shipping,” the Chinese president Xi Jinping said Tuesday in Beijing.