Greece to Act as China’s Gateway to Europe
China is planning to invest money in airports and railways in Greece and its ports as well as the country wherein the euro debt crisis is starting to look into making China as a gateway for Europe. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is on a three day trip to Greece in efforts to boost the economic ties between the two nations, who grew closer ever since China COSCO Pacific was able to win the 35 year concession last 2009 that upgraded and operated two cargo piers at Piraeus port.
Greece is relying on loan bailouts from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and is desperately in need of foreign investment to spur economic growth and create more jobs as it struggles to exit a six year recession. China in the other hand submitted a bid to purchase a majority stake in Piraeus and is also looking into constructing a 800 million euro airport in Crete and a main airport in Athens as the government is planning to put it on sale later this year and both sides are also into talks of developing a high speed rail.
Aside from being a gateway to sea trade, Greece can also be transformed into a transit hub for air transportation. Ports and airports such as the Athens International Airport and the International Airport in Heraklion in Kasteli are being eyed by Chinese investors.
Piraeus port can be a gateway for China to Europe since Greece has the largest shipping fleet in the world and ship owners are transporting around 60 percent of China’s imported oil and export half of their goods as well.