Greece rolls out the red carpet for Xu Lirong

Greece rolls out the red carpet for Xu Lirong

The red carpet was rolled out in Greece over the weekend as one of the nation’s most important foreign investors touched down to seal a huge port deal while promising further maritime investment in the Mediterranean country.

Xu Lirong, chairman of China Cosco Shipping, came to Athens on Friday to officially sign for the takeover of Pireaus port. China Cosco is paying EUR280.5m to take the port private with an initial 51% stake. The company will pay another EUR88m within five years to increase its stake by a further 16%.

Xu met with Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Saturday.

“I hope that this deal is just the beginning for many more investments to come to Greece,” Pavlopoulos told Xu

“Our goal is to help Piraeus Port become the largest container hub in Europe,” Xu said, adding: “I believe that we will promote not only the trade between China and Greece, but through Greece will boost China’s commercial activity to other countries in the region.”

Xu also hinted at plans to invest in local Greek yards.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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