‘Cosco effect’ still not felt in Greece, port exec says

Cosco-Piraeus

Cosco’s efforts to boost investors’ confidence in crisis-battered Greece and to attract other Chinese multinationals to the east Mediterranean county has so far not been exploited, according to Tassos Vamvakidis, the commercial manager at the Cosco-run Piraeus Container Terminal S.A.

Vamvakidis made the point during Naftemporiki’s 3rd annual shipping conference on Thursday, entitled “Greek and European Shipping Competitiveness and prospects in times of uncertainty”, which was held at the Athens Megaron concert hall.

The Shanghai-based shipping giant finalized its purchase of a majority stake of the Piraeus Port Authority last August and assumed the management of Greece’s largest and busiest port — a landmark privatization in the country and one specifically cited in Athens’ memorandum-mandated obligations.

Fielding a question after his address, the Container Terminal S.A. executive said the Chinese multinational “… could contribute to the creation of a positive climate for other Chinese companies to invest in Greece, under the condition that relevant ministries have already established a regulatory framework that would facilitate such investments in the country, such as potential product assembly units.”

Nevertheless, Vamvakidis said the potential remains, whereas Cosco has the volition to contribute to a positive investment climate, “as long as there is interest”, an indirect nod to the government.

Additionally, speaking during the second part of the conference, which focused on the creation of a first-ever maritime cluster in Greece — maritimehellas.org — Vamvakidis said he will immediate propose to his company that it join the initiative.

In terms of numbers since Cosco’s high-profile arrival in Greece — beginning with its assumption of the Piraeus container port — the veteran shipping executive said Piraeus was the fastest growing port worldwide in 2013 and 2014.

Source: Naftemporiki

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