David Glass

David Glass

Greece Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

An Australian with over 40 years experience as a journalist and foreign corrrespondent specialising in political and economic issues, David has lived in Greece for over 30 years and was editor of English language publications for Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini in the 1970s before moving into the Akti Miaouli and reporting on Greek and international shipping.

Managing editor of Naftiliaki Greek Shipping Review and Newsfront Greek Shipping Intelligence, David has been Greek editor for Seatrade for over 25 years.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s 13 September call for “investment screening” has raised new concerns in Athens as the country battles to meet the demands of its European creditors through the privatisation of state-owned commercial organisations.

China is a power with a strategic plan and Greece can only benefit from bilateral cooperation, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during a press conference in Thessaloniki 9 September. The Greek leader commented on Greece’s strategic partner, expressing his admiration for the strategy of “a strong and peaceful country".

With China Development Bank (CDB) and the Greek Public Power Corporation (PPC) set to sign a cooperation agreement which could be worth many tens of million of dollars, China’s has sought to stress the economic and social benefits of investment cooperation between Chinese and Greek companies as they have been cited as a source of concern for some Western countries.

Challenges facing Greece and Piraeus, the home of Greek shipping, have become more evident at a time when global maritime clusters around the world are actively working to attract Greek shipowners.

An ambitious project to establish a vertical link between the Danube and Greece’s Aegean coast by a navigable route via the Morava and Vardar/Axios rivers is back in the spotlight as China pushes to promote its’ and Asia’s trade interests through the new Silk Road concept.

As tanker and bulker newbuilding vessel orders begin to rise, there has still been an overall drop in newbuilding orders in first-half 2017 across shipping segments compared to the same period last year. This as it maybe, Greek shipowners have doubled their contracting in the first half, according to data from VesselsValue.

Just when it seemed it was a case of plain sailing for Cosco Shipping’s plans to further develop Greece’s Piraeus as Asia’s gateway to much of southern Europe a new hurdle has emerged.

One of the final hurdles slowing Cosco-management’s plan to speed-up development of Greece’s Piraeus port into a major European gateway for Asian trade is set to be removed within the coming weeks.

Senior British officials were in Athens recently urging the Greek shipping community to have faith in the City of London after the UK leaves the European Union.

The world's top 40 banks lending to shipping at the beginning of 2017 had a combined portfolio of $355.25bn, the lowest level in a decade, according to Athens-based Petrofin Global Bank Research.

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