At the beginning of 2018, Chinese COSCO Shipping initiated new projects, in order to improve the Greek port of Piraeus, Greece’s largest port. These projects aim to enhance the relations between Greece and China and set the port as Asia’s gateway to Europe.
Namely, the works will dredge the port, in order to create an operating depth of 20 metres. This will provide electricity and water supply networks and four mooring buoys will be created.
COSCO Shipping has undertaken the construction works, after acquiring a majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority, in order to upgrade Piraeus, ahead of the new floating dock, “Piraeus III”, which will be built, until the end of February, Xinhua news agency said.
The new projects will lead to ships not needing to perform maintenance operations in other Mediterranean shipyards, thus creating more jobs in Greece.
The recent developments were welcomed by the market. The projects will assist in maintaining the shipbuilding industry in Piraeus, as ships will not have to dock to neighbour countries, George Koumpenas, vice president of operations at Celestyal Cruises, was cited as saying by Xinhua news agency.
Recently, during the visit of the Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai in Greece to meet Greek Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis, China and Greece agreed to strengthen their cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Chinese vice premier suggested the two sides should cooperate on the Belt and Road Initiative, in order to promote practical collaboration in major projects, support cooperation between financial institutions, improve development by expanding trade and economic cooperation, and invest in people-to-people and cultural exchanges, Xinhua news agency reported.