China be­lieves that both gov­ern­ments are will­ing to con­tinue work­ing to­gether ...”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Greece’s new gov­ern­ment has halted the pri­va­ti­za­tion of the coun­try’s big­gest port Pi­raeus, a state sell­off in which China Ocean Ship­ping (Group) Co had al­ready ex­pressed a strong in­ter­est.

COSCO, the world’s sec­ond­ship­ping com­pany, and four other suit­ors were seen as po­ten­tial buy­ers of a 67 per­cent stake in Pi­raeus Port Author­ity OLP last year un­der the scheme agreed by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.

The head of COSCO’s me­dia of­fice in Bei­jing said the com­pany was closely fol­low­ing the Greek gov­ern­ment’s move on Tues­day and that it still wished to com­pete in the deal.

Chen Ying­ming, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of Shang­haibased China Port and Har­bors As­so­ci­a­tion, hoped that the newly elected Athens gov­ern­ment would re­con­sider its de­ci­sion on Pi­raeus, and seek what he called ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions from COSCO to cre­ate more jobs, adding that cur­rent mar­ket con­di­tions strongly fa­vored a pri­va­ti­za­tion of se­lect Greek state-owned as­sets.

“Pi­raeus Port will def­i­nitely be­come a gate­way for China’s trade and in­vest­ment to Europe if this deal can be sealed by the Chi­nese com­pany,” said Chen.

“The Greek gov­ern­ment should be aware that de­vel­op­ing its port busi­ness with COSCO means more Chi­nese in­vest­ment can be made in in­fra­struc­ture and re­lated ser­vice projects in Greece.”

COSCO Pa­cific Ltd, a sub­sidiary of COSCO Group, the fifth-largest con­tainer ter­mi­nal op­er­a­tor in the world, has al­ready in­vested 4.3 bil­lion eu­ros ($5.9 bil­lion) in a 35-year man­age­ment lease for the No 2 and No 3 piers at Pi­raeus Port, which it has been op­er­at­ing since June 2010.

Pi­raeus Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal, part of COSCO Pa­cific, signed a re­vised in­vest­ment agree­ment in Novem­ber

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