Greece as an international center of economic activity with Piraeus as the hub
Strengthening of the Port of Piraeus —as a gateway to European markets— is key. Greece’s geopolitical position in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the location of Piraeus —at the crossroads of the sea corridor linking Asian markets with those of Europe via the Suez Canal— offers great potential. Promoting services and facilitating freight flows through Greece, will boost Greece’s profile as an international hub.
This vision is clearly communicated by the deal made with the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO).
According to published data, the Chinese Group has made a 500 million Euro investment in Piraeus infrastructure and equipment in the last five years, as well as payments to the Piraeus Port Authority S.A. which exceed 100 million Euros. The assets acquired from these investments will remain the property of the Greek State.
Adding together the taxes paid by the Greek state and the initial payment for the concession, the direct benefit —since 2009— far exceeds a half a billion Euros.
The aforementioned investment example is a paradigm that promotes business and economic confidence. Moreover, it revitalizes Piraeus which has traditionally been a shipping center and also the industrial “heart” of the economy.
Furthermore, the upcoming development of the Thriasio Industrial Zone provides many opportunities. The prospects for the implementation of a strategic plan, which includes maritime transport, the provision of logistical services and land transport for rail and road are all on the table.
In light of this, we must also discuss the importance of container shipping between ports in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the link with Africa and land transport by rail or road to the Balkans and Central Europe. Not to mention the cooperation with TRAINOSE S.A., with the large multinational companies such as HP, SONY, HUAWEI, ZTE, and also the synergies with major players in the field, such as SCHENKER and Rail Cargo Austria, which have opened the ‘southern gate’ of Europe and the market of value-added services.
Moreover the cooperative transport network development, as well as the intrinsic recognition of the importance of shipping and world trade —as well as the role it plays in sustainable development— is vital to the functional integration of the supply chain transfer of goods and the dynamism of Greek ports.
Taken together, these elements will bolster Greek trade and position Piraeus as the hub; creating greater possibilities for the future.
Of course, I have merely presented the business perspective.
It is an effort to contract the "Silk Road" distances for freight transport from China to the Mediterranean and Central Europe, with efficiency and to reduce shipping times. It is my hope for Greece to become a bridge between East and West.
by Dimitris Mathios
President of the Federation of
Attica & Piraeus Industries