(Greece) – Greece has reached an agreement with China Cosco Holdings Company to sell a majority stake in the Port of Pireaus. China Cosco Holdings was founded in 2005 in the People’s Republic of China and it is currently China’s largest integrated company. It is also the largest integrated company in the world. This deal is looked at as a way to encourage a greater sense of cooperation between China and Greece.
Alex Tsipras, Greece’s Prime Minister, said in a speech on Monday in Beijing, “This is a mutually beneficial deal, which paves the way for the Chinese companies and brings positive benefits to the Greek economy.” Currently, Tsipras is in Beijing in order to drum up additional Chinese investments. He is scheduled to meet with Chinese government officials as well as representatives from some of China’s biggest companies. Li Keqiang, China’s Prime Minister, has issued his support by saying that China is willing to help Greece become stronger.
Last week, the Greek Parliament approved the deal by a large majority, but the deal itself has taken several years to come to fruition. In this deal, Greece is to transfer a 67% majority stake to China Cosco Holdings. Piraeus is the largest port in Greece and is the hub of activity in the country when it comes to shipping. It is also amongst the largest of all the Mediterranean ports. Piraeus is important to Cosco because the company uses this port as their European hub for their exports. Container vessels stop here after leaving China. From there, China ships the good to a variety of other locations, including the Suez Canal.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said that it is deals such as these that will have a positive, long-term impact on the Greek economy. Currently, the Greek government is still struggling to manage its debt, while the nation has a relatively high unemployment rate. It is hoped that investments such as these will bring more jobs to Greece.