Palermo, Italy (PortSEurope) March 13, 2019 – An unnamed Shanghai-based investment fund is interested in participating in a €5 billion ($5.7 billion) project for the construction of a large freight transport hub in Palermo.
The project is aimed at transforming Palermo port into the largest hub in Europe with strategic importance above all for traffic between Asia and the southern shore of the Mediterranean.
The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, will visit Palermo on March 23 with a large delegation of managers and businessmen who could be interested in the port business.
The news comes at a time when officials in Brussels and Washington have indicated growing concern about China’s investment in European transport facilities.
The new Silk Road (One Belt, One Road) 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.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit Italy March 22-23, and may sign a memorandum of understanding with the Italian government for Rome to take an active role in new Silk Road developments.
Palermo port itself is trying to rebuild its industrial base.
The Sicilian regional government has opened a tender for the completion of the overhaul of Sciacca port in the province of Agrigento, western Sicily.
The project is financed by the EU’s European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF) Sicily 2014-2020 OP with €6 million ($6.74 million), intended for the completion of the work, whose modernization work had already been started with other spending programs under the regional unit transport policy and the mobility.
Also, Fincantieri SpA and Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mare di Sicilia Occidentale (AdSP – Western Sicilian Sea Port Authority) have signed a memorandum of understanding for the launch of a shipbuilding hub in the port of Palermo.
Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2019.