China’s COSCO Shipping investment in Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, in recent years is a successful example of cooperation with mutual benefits, former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told Xinhua in a recent written interview.

COSCO Shipping acquired the majority of Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (PPA) shares in 2016 after an international tender, while the Chinese company’s subsidiary, Piraeus Container Terminal S.A. (PCT), has managed the port’s container terminal since 2009.

The image of Piraeus has improved with impressive results posted in recent years, as work for the port’s upgrade and expansion continues.

Since 2019 it is the top port in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the fastest-growing container terminals in the world.

Greeks and Chinese continue to work hard together to realize the vision to transform Piraeus into a key transit hub and logistics center for the growing trade between Asia and Europe, also in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative.

China and Greece have widened their cooperation in recent years in many sectors, Papandreou noted.

“It is important first of all to follow through on the existing joint initiatives regarding economy, trade, tourism and of course culture that plays a big role in our relations as we share the wisdom of two ancient civilizations,” he said, asked about the prospects of bilateral cooperation towards common development and prosperity.

“Dialogue between different civilizations is very important for mutual understanding,” Papandreou stressed.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has created many hurdles, but possibly new opportunities arise for cooperation in areas of health and wellness, such as the use of our traditional knowledge in medicine, he added.

“We hope that next year we will be able to host a large number of Chinese visitors in Greece,” the former PM told.