Athens, Greece (PortSEurope) December 12, 2019 – At a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vućić, the leaders discussed Serbian interest in the northeast ports of Thessaloniki and Alexandroupolis.
Land-locked Serbia is keen to have a role in developing transport corridors between Europe and asia, mainly driven by the Chinese government’s new Silk Road economic policy. Greek and North Adriatic ports are both under consideration.
The new Silk Road (part of the Belt and Road Initiative, BRI; One Belt, One Road, OBOR) is an 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.
The Serbian delegation included representatives from companies seeking business opportunities to work with Greek companies. Grecotor Theofanis, CEO of Thessaloniki Port Authority. also attended, and Euro2day reported that Serbia could have interest in acquiring a stake in the port.
Thessaloniki Port Authority was privatised on March 23, 2018, and is now operated by South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki (SEGT) Ltd, a consortium, in turn, owned by Deutsche Invest Equity Partners GmbH (47%), Terminal Link SAS (33%) and Belterra Investments Ltd (20%).
Regarding Alexandroupolis, Serbia consider the port’s FRSU as a source of liquified natural gas (LNG).
Both parties also discussed infrastructure investments, including the Belgrade-Nis railway upgrade and the planned upgrading of the section to the border with Northern Macedonia, which will reinforce the role of Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports as cargo transit.
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