ATHENS- "The Cosco investment in Piraeus port is the key that will unlock future investments over the coming period in Greece," Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis said on Friday, addressing the Thessaloniki Summit 2019 organised by the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece.
He said that relations between Greece and China are not limited to the port of Piraeus, pointing out that the recent opening of branches by two major Chinese banks in Athens proved that "there is much yet to come."
Referring to Greece's regional ports, Plakiotakis described them as a lever for growth in both local communities and on a national level, adding that the government was in talks with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) so that it would be possible, through studies on their best use and sustainability, to improve the developmental role of each port on an individual basis.
"We will soon have news about this issue, there will be international tenders, at which time everyone is welcome. What I want to confirm is that there is great investment interest in all 10 ports," Plakiotakis said. He also underlined that "the ports are included in the national logistics plans" adding that "it is obvious that we link the development of the ports with the development of the supply chain".
Plakiotakis noted that "shipping is Greece's major strategic advantage," pointing out that Greek shipping has in recent decades been the primary power in the global maritime sector. He underlined that the Greek flag must become competitive, noting that this was linked with the quality of naval education. "There is public naval education but this has multiple problems. Public naval education must be improved, with the parallel operation of private naval education - in other words, what applies in all modern and competitive maritime countries".