Piraeus plan may stir Cosco interest

The government has unveiled a 1.5-billion-euro plan to upgrade Piraeus’s infrastructure in a move that could stir investor interest from the area’s largest foreign player, China’s Cosco. As economic activity in Greece plunges under the weight of a deepening recession, the Economy Ministry said a five-year plan has been approved to expand the area’s road and rail networks, upgrade port services and move ahead with urban redevelopment. «Piraeus is not just a port, it is not just the largest port in the country. Under the right conditions it can develop into a center that is able to attract investment and create jobs,» Economy Minister Louka Katseli said yesterday. The funding for the projects will come from a mix of EU community funds, public-private partnerships, the European Investment Bank and private investors. Press reports have said that China’s Cosco Pacific, which runs the port’s cargo business, is interested in boosting investment in Piraeus as it is used as a European entry point for Chinese imports. An investment in the railway network connecting Piraeus with the rest of the country was reportedly among Cosco’s priorities. «Now that the financing side is being worked out, Cosco might want to express interest,» a ministry source told Kathimerini English Edition. The scheme will be overseen by a committee including representatives of the Port Authority and the Municipality of Piraeus, along with the local university and the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

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