OLP and OLTH can boost GDP by 5.6 bln/year

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ILIAS BELLOS

Busi­ness at Greece’s two pri­va­tized ports, Pi­raeus and Thes­sa­loniki, could in­crease the coun­try’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by up to 5.6 bil­lion eu­ros a year, a sur­vey by the Foun­da­tion for Eco­nomic and In­dus­trial Re­search (IOBE) has found. The strate­gic po­si­tion of Greece’s two main ports is seen as cru­cial for in­ter­na­tional trade.

The sig­nif­i­cance of Pi­raeus Port Author­ity (OLP) in the eyes of its Chi­nese own­ers was made clear by the re­cent visit of Wan Min, pres­i­dent of the China Cosco Ship­ping Cor­po­ra­tion. The se­nior of­fi­cial of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party was in Athens to chair OLP’s an­niver­sary gen­eral meet­ing on the com­ple­tion of a year since its ac­qui­si­tion by Cosco.

Last week Boris Wen­zel, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ter­mi­nal Link, also ar­rived in Athens. The ex­ec­u­tive of the CMACGM sub­sidiary came to en­sure that the buy­out of 67 per­cent of Thes­sa­loniki Port (OLTH) by the con­sor­tium which in­cludes Ter­mi­nal Link will pro­ceed fast and un­hin­dered.

CMA and Cosco be­long to the same ship­ping al­liance but bring cargo to dif­fer­ent ports in the Mediter­ranean: Cosco to Pi­raeus and CMA to Malta. Their com­mon in­ter­ests, their con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions for the in­vest­ment of a to­tal of 530 mil­lion eu­ros in the next seven years, and their op­er­a­tion of the two ports will bring great ben­e­fits in terms of em­ploy­ment and eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in gen­eral in Greece, IOBE has also found.

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