Rebirth of Piraeus port drives Greek economic recovery
- Piraeus Port is revived with vitality, bringing happiness and a sense of gain to local people
- In recent years, the leading projects represented by Piraeus Port have become the main driving force for the growth of bilateral trade
At the Port of Piraeus, Greece, towering bridges and cranes are everywhere, trucks are busy, and cargo ships full of containers are coming in and out in an orderly manner... This thriving scene of the terminal makes the business manager of COSCO SHIPPING Port Piraeus Container Terminal Co., Ltd. Tassos Vamvajidis was very emotional: the revival of Piraeus Port is the result of the cooperation between Greece and China in building the Belt and Road Initiative. The leaders of the two countries place high hopes on the development of Piraeus Port, and the prospect of Piraeus Port is limitless. As the builder and witness of the development of Piraeus Port, I am very proud.
Vamvajidis is a native of Greece. He started working in the port of Piraeus at the age of 16 and has been working in the port for more than 50 years. He witnessed the new look of Piraeus Port in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and personally felt the concern and support of Chinese President Xi Jinping for the development of Piraeus Port.
On November 11, 2019, during their state visit to Greece, President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, accompanied by Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis and his wife, visited the Piraeus Port Project of COSCO Shipping. On that day, the Port of Piraeus was as lively as a festival, and the employees excitedly waved the national flags of Greece and China to warmly welcome the arrival of the Chinese leaders. It was a day to remember. Recalling the important moment more than 3 years ago, Vamvajidis still couldn’t hide his excitement. For every employee and the entire Port of Piraeus, the arrival of President Xi Jinping is of great significance. High recognition and great support for cooperation.
President Xi Jinping talked with us cordially like an old friend, and his words were full of wisdom and vision. It is touching that the leader of a great country is so approachable. Vam Vajidis said. President Xi Jinping had a cordial conversation with local employee representatives and asked them about their work and life.
Located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Piraeus Port is the largest port in Greece and one of the top ten container terminals in Europe. However, this port with a long history, due to the impact of the debt crisis in Greece and Europe, coupled with aging equipment, caused many foreign ship owners to abandon the port, and the terminal operation was once in trouble.
In 2008, the former COSCO Group obtained the 35-year concession rights for container terminals No. 2 and No. 3 of Piraeus Port, which ushered in new development opportunities for Piraeus Port.
Thanks to the joint efforts of Chinese and Greek employees, in September 2010, three months after the Chinese side took over, the container terminal began to achieve monthly profits continuously.
In 2016, COSCO SHIPPING successfully won the bid for the privatization project of the Piraeus Port Authority, officially became the controlling shareholder of the Port Authority and took over the operation and management, directly and indirectly creating jobs for more than 10,000 local people.
Chinese companies not only did not take away our jobs, but also created many new jobs. Greek employees are respected and trusted. Vam Vajidis said with emotion that COSCO SHIPPING has invested a lot of money and advanced technology and equipment to help Piraeus Port recover its vitality and develop rapidly. The Piraeus Port has been reborn and the lives of employees have become more comfortable.
President Xi Jinping is very concerned about the development and construction of Piraeus Port, and mentioned the Piraeus Port project on many important occasions of China-Greece exchanges.
Through the introduction of advanced management technology and experience, Piraeus Port has achieved leapfrog development. The container throughput increased from 880,000 TEUs in 2010 to 5.648 million TEUs in 2019, and its global ranking jumped to 25th, becoming the first in the Mediterranean Sea. big port.
In October 2021, COSCO SHIPPING will complete the acquisition of the entire equity of the Piraeus Port Authority. The latest data shows that in the first half of 2022, COSCO SHIPPING Piraeus' container terminals, cruise terminals, and ship repair business all rose against the trend, achieving a total revenue of 93.1 million euros and a net profit of 25.9 million euros, a year-on-year increase of 29% and 72%, respectively. %.
The development and changes of Piraeus Port have written a new chapter in the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative between China and Greece. Vamvajdis said that the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative has not only benefited Piraeus Port a lot, but also helped the development of surrounding areas and the economic recovery of Greece. With the modernization of the port, its ability to attract investment has been significantly enhanced, driving the development of a series of industries, and several surrounding cities have enjoyed the development dividends of Piraeus Port.
In May 2017, as a star employee, Vam Vajidis went to Beijing to participate in the first Belt and Road International Cooperation Summit Forum. At the sub-forum on people-to-people bond, he described the changes in Piraeus Port: the journey of Piraeus Port to glory again, fully demonstrating that the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative has provided great development opportunities for the world, and promoted the openness, inclusiveness, equal cooperation, and mutual benefit of the co-construction countries win-win.
Over the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Greece, the solid friendship and high-level cooperation between the two sides have set an example for countries all over the world. Wam Vajdis said that the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road has continuously enriched the connotation of friendly cooperation between Greece and China, and the successful experience of the cooperation between the two parties in Piraeus Port will bring more inspiration to the deepening cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education, tourism, and humanities and vitality, promote mutual understanding and friendship between the people of the two countries, and improve the well-being of the people on both sides.Editor/Ma Xue
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