The port of Piraeus “has become the largest multi-purpose port in the Mediterranean and the fourth largest multi-purpose port in Europe. It has also emerged as one of the fastest growing container ports in the world,” China’s ambassador to Greece, Xiao Junzheng, said, highlighting its importance in the Mediterranean and Europe.
Analyzing all the quality elements that showcase the port as one of the top in the world, the Chinese ambassador, during the press briefing for the 3rd “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation”, which is held in Beijing, pointed out:
“Its annual traffic capacity has reached a record high of 7.2 million TEUs, ranking 26th worldwide. Piraeus has also created more than 3,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs, directly contributing more than 1.4 billion euros to the local economy and boosting Greece’s GDP by 0.8%. In addition, the port’s strong cruise growth has effectively promoted the recovery of the Greek tourism sector, offering huge economic benefits to the region. By the end of September, the port of Piraeus received 750 cruises and 1.2 million tourists. According to the reports of the Athens Stock Exchange, Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) shareholders received a dividend of 1.05 euros per share in 2022,” the Chinese ambassador underlined.
Moreover, he pointed out that the China-Europe Land-Sea Express line starting from the port of Piraeus has reduced transit times by at least 7 to 10 days, becoming a third major channel for China-Europe trade, arriving to Central and Eastern European countries and complements traditional sea routes and the China-Europe Railway Express. In 2022, a total of 181,000 TEUs were transported through this land-sea express line, up 18.4% year-on-year, it noted.
China-Greece cooperation in green energy projects thriving
He also praised China-Greece cooperation in green energy projects. Cooperation in this area is thriving, contributing to the improvement of Greece’s energy infrastructure and green growth, he pointed out. In particular, he referred to the Chinese investment in wind farms in Thrace and to its Chinese participation in the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) and the electrical interconnection of Crete with Attica.
Regarding the first investment, he said that it produces enough green energy each year to meet the electricity needs of 30,000 Greek households, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 160,000 tons per year, which is equivalent to planting 360,000 trees each year.