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COSCO SHIPPING Completes Acquisition of All 67% Stake in PPA with the Letter of Closing II Shares Arrangements Exchanged

Date:2021-10-25 Read times: font size:[ L M S ]

On October 25, Beijing Time, the Exchange Event for the Letter of Closing II Arrangements with the Shares of Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (PPA S.A.) was held virtually in Beijing, Athens and Port of Piraeus. It marked the completion of an additional 16% stake acquisition by COSCO SHIPPING in PPA, raising the company’s stake in PPA to 67%. Greek Minister of Development and Investment Mr. Adonis Georgiadis, Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Mr. Yannis Plakiotakis, Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) Mr. Ning Jizhe, Chinese Ambassador to Greece Mr. Xiao Junzheng, and Greek Ambassador to China Mr. Georgios Iliopoulos attended the ceremony and delivered speeches. Chinese Vice Minister of Transport Mr. Zhao Chongjiu, China’s Special Representative for European Affairs Mr. Wu Hongbo, Secretary General of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) Mr. Peng Huagang, and Chairman of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) Mr. Thanasis Ziliaskopoulos attended the ceremony. Chairman of COSCO SHIPPING Capt. Xu Lirong also attended the event and delivered a speech, while Executive Vice President of COSCO SHIPPING Mr. Feng Bo presided over the ceremony.

Witnessed by guests from both countries, CEO of HRADF Mr. Dimitris Politis (on behalf of HRADF) and Chairman of PPA S.A. Mr. Yu Zenggang, (on behalf of COSCO SHIPPING) exchanged the document at the venue of event in Greece.

The successful completion of the acquisition of an additional 16% stake in PPA is another milestone achieved by the Piraeus Port project as a model of China-Greece cooperation, which opens a new chapter for COSCO SHIPPING to facilitate the port’s further development by focusing on social justice, shared interest, mutual benefits and win-win results.

In his speech, Deputy Director of NDRC Mr. Ning Jizhe said that, in 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the “Belt and Road” Initiative, which is highly compatible with Greece’s strategy to build an important international logistics transit hub in the country. The Port of Piraeus, as the most important port in Greece, is a successful example of partnership with the combination of development visions on both sides. China is willing to work with the Greece to implement this flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative. A joint effort made by the two countries in promoting the development of the port and the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Service will benefit Greece, Central and Eastern Europe and even Europe at large. He hoped that the Chinese and Greek governments, enterprises and other relevant parties will join hands to continue to boost the investment and construction of the Port of Piraeus, and turn it into a key pivot of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Service and China-Greece cooperation under the “Belt and Road” Initiative, stimulating continuous and in-depth development of practical cooperation between the two countries in various fields for the benefit of the two peoples.

In his speech, Greek Minister of Development and Investment Mr. Adonis Georgiadis said that since the signing of the first concession agreement between the Greek government and COSCO SHIPPING in 2008, the cooperation between the two sides at the Port of Piraeus has brought tangible benefits to the Greek people and has strongly contributed to the economic growth of Greece and the development of Greece-China relations. He is very proud that the two sides are able to complete the stake acquisition within the stipulated time. This shows that Chinese investment in Greece is welcome and demonstrates to more investors the spirit of contract of the Greek government. He believed that the Port of Piraeus is absolutely capable of developing into an important hub and logistics center in Europe. And when the port’s master plan is completed, it will enter a new era of deepened bilateral cooperation.

Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Mr. Yannis Plakiotakis pointed out in his speech that COSCO SHIPPING’s investment in the Port of Piraeus is crucial to the local development, the Greek national economy and the strategic position of Greece. In view of previous fruitful cooperation between the two sides, the Greek Parliament approved the Phase II equity transfer for the port. After the government approval, the two parties signed another investment agreement and are ready to continue to sign two more related agreements, which proves in practice the rationality of the government’s choice. He hoped that the port management and all parties concerned will work together to speed up the completion of the investment plan and create a new era of port development for the benefit of the local area, Attica and Greece.

Chinese Ambassador to Greece Mr. Xiao Junzheng said that the Piraeus Port project steers the pragmatic cooperation between China and Greece, and is also a model of international cooperation under the “Belt and Road” Initiative. In the spirit of friendly consultation and mutual benefit, the two sides successfully completed the transfer of shares of PPA in the pursuit of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits through concrete actions. He believed that with the concern of the leaders of the two countries and the support of the governments and all sectors of society, both sides will be able to make further efforts to promote the new development of the Port of Piraeus.


In his speech, Greek Ambassador to China Mr. Georgios Iliopoulos said that the successful completion of the equity transfer of PPA marks another milestone in the close ties between Greece and China in the field of maritime transport and the continuous deepening of development cooperation. As a model of Greece-China cooperation, the port can and should become a gateway for China-Europe commodity trade cooperation and exchange, facilitating the entry of high-quality European products into the Chinese market. He also wished the two sides continued success in the project.

Chairman of COSCO SHIPPING Capt. Xu Lirong said that the official transfer of shares (Phase II) of the PPA cannot be realized without the unremitting efforts and grand vision of China and Greece. COSCO SHIPPING is grateful to the governments and relevant ministries and commissions of both countries for their great support and assistance for the smooth transfer of shares. In the next step, COSCO SHIPPING will further expand its investment, increase its input of resources and fully implement the cooperation agreement in accordance with the port’s master plan. It will continue to work together with local staff, community and government to build the Port of Piraeus into a regional logistics distribution center by launching new shipping routes, improving the supporting facilities and measures, and actively developing the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Service. The company aims to help the Port of Piraeus strengthen its position as a major port in the Mediterranean and become an important bridge of civilization, economy and friendship between China and Greece under the “Belt and Road” Initiative.

COSCO SHIPPING started to operate the container terminals No. 2 and No. 3 of PPA in 2009. It has offered local communities more than 3,000 direct jobs and over 10,000 jobs in related services since 2016 when it began to control and operate the entire port, contributing 1.4 billion euros in taxes, duties and social contribution.

On November 11, 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, who were on a state visit to Greece, visited the COSCO SHIPPING Piraeus Port project together with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife. President Xi Jinping said then, “Seeing is believing. Today, I came to see for myself a real Port of Piraeus. Apparently, the Belt and Road Initiative promoted by China is not just a slogan or a legend, but a real and exciting example of cooperation.” 

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also said that the Piraeus Port project has proved to be mutually beneficial and has strongly contributed to the economic recovery and social development of Greece. It is in line with the interests of the Greek state and people, and has the support of the Greek people. From such experience, Greece has learnt the true meaning of the word “friend”, and is willing to work hand in hand with China to make the Piraeus Port project bigger and stronger, so that it can become a model of cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Port of Piraeus currently has six business segments, namely container terminals, logistics and warehousing, ship repairing operations, cruise terminals, automobile terminals and ferry terminals. The annual container handling capacity of the port has reached 7.2 million TEUs, with its ranking among the global container terminals rising from 93rd in 2009 to 26th in 2021. It is also the largest ferry port in Europe and an important cruise ship home port, a PCTC transit port and a ship repair center in the Mediterranean. The port is directly connected to the hinterland of Central and Eastern Europe via the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Service, as a gateway of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to Central and Eastern Europe. The rapidly developing China-Europe Land-Sea Express Service, which starts from the Port of Piraeus, has become the third major trade corridor between China and Europe, covering 9 countries and a total population of 71 million.

In 2019, for the first time, the container throughput of the Port of Piraeus exceeded 5.65 million TEUs, making it the largest container terminal in the Mediterranean and the fourth largest in Europe. In 2020, its container throughput capacity reached 5.45 million TEUs, despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. From January to September 2021, the cumulative container throughput of the port registered a year-on-year increase, while the volume of containers transported via the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Service grew 20% year-on-year, playing an important role in ensuring the stable and smooth flow of goods between China and Europe.

Relevant personnel from the Greek Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Development and Investment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, and HRADF, as well as heads of PPA S.A. and representatives of Chinese and Greek employees also attended the ceremony in the local place.

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