(Head image shows Tsipras with Zhang Dejiang)
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras met with the managing director of Shipping company COSCO, Xy Lirong in Shanghai, Tuesday. During their talks at the company’s headquarters, Lirong told Tsipras that the priority of COSCO was to invest in the cruise line industry in the port of Piraeus. On his part, Tispras expressed his satisfaction for the comany’s investment in Greece, stressing that it was a significant milestone in the two countries’ relations. ‘The two countries’ relations have gone up a level. We have reached a new level after sealing the deal with COSCO’, Tsipras pointed out. He went on to say that the strategic plans of China and Greece coincided, underlining that Greece could act as a bridge between China and Europe, as the first gateway to the EU. The Greek PM said that investment plans included the upgrading of Greek railway system to facilitate the transit from the port of Piraeus to the rest of the European markets. Tsipras expressed the view that the company would fully comply with Greek law to keep the workers satisfied. The managing director of the Chinese shipping giant announced the company was planning to invest a further 500mln Euros, apart from the 350mln provided in the current deal signed with the Greek government for the Piraeus port. Lirong revealed that the company had plans to boost the cruise line industry in the port by exploiting its collaborations with large international cruising companies. In this light, he stressed that COSCO would expand and revamp the port facilities with the goal to facilitate the world’s largest cruiser that caters for 4,000 guests. The goal is to increase the number of tourists on cruise liners in Greece by 3 million. Lirong also said the company would upgrade port infrastructure to raise container capacity and storage. The Greek PM is scheduled to meet with CEO of online retail giant Alibaba during his stay in Shanghai.