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Chinese interest in Greek ports confirmed

Chinese interest in Greek ports confirmed

Piraeus: Shipping was high of the agenda when Greece's Economy and Finance minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis led a business delegation to China last week.
After meeting with China's Trade minister Bo Xilai in Beijing on October 24, Alogoskoufis confirmed China's interest in acquiring stakes in Greece's two largest ports, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, reports Greek shipping intelligence newsletter Newsfront.

Greece wants to increase investment at the ports and make the country a transhipment hub for south-eastern Europe. China's Cosco and China Shipping Group, Hong Kong's Hutchinson Port Holdings, Dubai Ports Authority, AP Moller-Maersk, Zim and Hanjin have all expressed interest in becoming involved. International tenders for development of the ports are due to take place to take place within the coming. The Greek minister confirmed there would be Chinese bidders, and further said that shipping and tourism are the economic sectors where cooperation between the two countries has advanced the most.

Meanwhile, a six-person delegation from China's Water Resources Management sector visited the offices of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (Helmepa) in Piraeus last week to be informed about the aims and activities of Helmepa, and the globalisation of the initiative through the Intermepa association. They were told that creating a MEPA in China could contribute towards the goals of balanced development and protection of the environment. The head of the delegation, the vice commissioner of the much-acclaimed 'Three Gorges' dam project at Yangtze River, addressed the environmental challenges China is facing and invited Helmepa to participate in an international environmental conference to take place in China in 2007.  [01/11/06]