Chinese group Cosco is evolving from a strategic investor in Piraeus into a strategic ally of Greece, as its head, Captain Wei Jiafu, said on Thursday while signing the agreement for the expansion of Dock III of the country’s biggest port that he will encourage other Chinese companies to make investments in Greece.
The Chinese official and Greece’s new Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis signed a memorandum of cooperation for the western extension of the second dock that Cosco operates, one day after its official launch in Piraeus. The agreement was also signed by Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) and the state privatization fund (TAIPED).
Cosco’s local subsidiary will undertake the full budget of the expansion of the dock, estimated at 224 million euros.
Captain Wei went on to say that a Chinese fund has already expressed interest in the old airport at Elliniko in southern Athens, referring to the possibility of creating a resort along the lines of an artificial island-hotel located in Dubai.
He also expressed satisfaction with the support that the Greek governments of the last few years have lent to the Chinese, highlighted his trust in the Greek authorities and entrepreneurs, and forecast that “Greece will be the first country to emerge from the crisis.”
According to sources, Captain Wei has reiterated his company’s interest in OLP, which will soon put a 74 percent stake up for sale, while the Chinese are further known to be interested in the privatization of railway services operator Trainose.