ECONOMY

PM hails signing of HP-Cosco logistics deal

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday attended the signing of an agreement that will see US electronics giant Hewlett Packard (HP) use the cargo terminal of Chinese shipping firm Cosco in Piraeus as its distribution center for products heading to other European and Middle Eastern countries.

The agreement, which also involves the operational arm of Greece’s national railway service Trainose, was signed by officials of HP, Cosco, Trainose and the government at a ceremony in Piraeus on Friday, shortly after noon.

Addressing a press conference in Perama, Samaras said the deal symbolized a “new beginning for Piraeus and for the Greek economy” and would create much-needed jobs particularly for young Greeks. Thanking both Cosco and HP for choosing Piraeus, Samaras said the deal would “secure Piraeus on the international map of transport logistics” and “create new jobs at a difficult time for Greeks, especially for our youth.” The premier referred to “strategic infrastructure networks that will release investments.”

One of the preconditions of the HP-Cosco deal was the completion of a new 17-kilometer railway link, connecting the container terminal in Neo Ikonio, near Piraeus, to the Thriasio Plain, Greece’s main logistics hub. That route was inaugurated on Thursday, following a two-year delay, by Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis.

Merchant Marine Minister Constantinos Mousouroulis said that the rail link “will now make Piraeus port fly.”