COSCO’s offer for Piraeus port the springboard for more Chinese investments in Greece

COSCOThe first seven months of 2015 were not ideal for Sino-Greek relations. The opposition of the Greek SYRIZA governing party to the policy of privatisations had caused alarm in Beijing. Being highly interested in COSCO’s additional investments in the port of Piraeus the Chinese side had considered this opposition a hostile action. But since the Agreekment of 12 July 2015 and Greece’s government U-turn, a new, better chapter has opened. SYRIZA is continuously showing a remarkable will to apply bailout terms and carry out some of the required reforms. The implementation of privatisations is the most characteristic example. The recent sale of 14 regional airports is now followed by that of the Piraeus Port Authority. After several delays the procedure for the submission of offers has been completed.

SYRIZA deserves a credit for adopting policies which had been a taboo for decades in Greece. Official announcements for binding offers for a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority will be announced on 12 January 2016. According to Greek media COSCO is the only company which has arguably participated in the bid. This means that Greece and China have now an excellent opportunity to further deepen their bilateral relationship. The sale of Piraeus Port Authority can be the springboard.  China is prepared to invest more in Greece and Greece wants more investments from China. This model of win-win co-operation will benefit both sides. Its new tangible results will be apparent from 2016 onwards.