|Bank of China to open branch in Greece|
|Author: CSEBA / SEEbiz|
|21st September 2019|
|PIRAEUS – At a meeting with the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, President of the Bank of China for Europe, Zhou Li Hong, announced the establishment of a Bank of China branch in Greece by the end of the year.|
Zhou Li Hong reportedly expressed interest in financing large investment projects to be implemented in Greece at the same time with the support of Chinese groups and companies operating in Greece. Investment is part of China’s new Silk Road economic trade strategy.
It is noted that last week the Central Bank of China introduced a major interest rate reform aimed at lowering the cost of borrowing for businesses, a development which in combination with the start-up in Greece could make a significant contribution to the drive for new investment.
China is already an important business partner for Greece with investments in sectors such as shipping, infrastructure and energy exceeding €7.1 billion.
One of the leading investors is COSCO Shipping Ports Limited, a leading global ports operator, which owns Piraeus Port Authority SA and Piraeus Container Terminal SA. COSCO also plans further investment in the port including a fourth cargo terminal and and a cruise terminal.
Chinese investment in Piraeus has seen cargo traffic reach 4.9 million TEUs in 2018, 18.4% more than the previous year. In 2019, traffic is forecast to rise to 5.5-5.6 million TEUs.
Bank of China was founded in 1912 by the Chinese government to replace Imperial Bank of China.
The new Silk Road (part of the Belt and Road initiative also known as One Belt, One Road, or OBOR) is a Chinese economic strategy to seek better access for Chinese-made products in European markets, which includes acquiring stakes in ports and other transport facilities, and cooperation agreements with countries along the Silk Road routes.