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Newsletter December 2012


HP-COSCO Agreement: Port of Piraeus to be Hub

Hewlett-Packard will transport its goods across Europe, the Middle East and Africa through Greece's biggest port, after agreeing a deal with China's Cosco Pacific.

The Greek government announced on November 14 that Hewlett-Packard will transport its goods across Europe, the Middle East and Africa through Greece's biggest port, following a deal with China's Cosco Pacific that Athens hopes will attract investors and bolster cargo business at its commercial docks.

Cosco Pacific, one of the world's biggest container terminal operators, signed a deal with Greece in 2008 to run a pier at the Port of Piraeus. HP is the world's largest manufacturer by sales of personal computers.

Prime Minister Samaras hailed the deal as "a vote of confidence in Greece in this effort we are undertaking today to revive the Greek economy. It reaffirms the role our country can play on the global business map," he said after meeting representatives of both companies and the shipping and development ministers.

The Greek government has made investment and growth a priority.

In 2011, more than 20 million passengers and 1.7 million containers passed through Piraeus, the country's busiest port and a gateway to Eastern Europe.

The Development Ministry, that announced the preliminary agreement, did not place a value on the deal but said it could increase local cargo business at Piraeus by 50 percent. It is also expected to create hundreds of jobs, the ministry said.

Merchandise from Palo Alto-based [United States] HP would be distributed by sea through the Cosco terminal and by land through Greece's TrainOSE, the monopoly that operates 500 freight and passenger routes on 1,550 miles of railways, the ministry said.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras praised the agreement between Hewlett-Packard, Cosco and TrainOSE to use Cosco's cargo terminal at the port of Piraeus as a hub to distribute the electronics giant's products in central Europe, Middle East, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe.

The Greek Premier, speaking after a meeting with representatives of the three companies, said the agreement was a "vote of confidence" for Greece in this effort towards an economic recovery, stressing that the agreement reasserted the role that the country can plan with its infrastructure in the global business map.

“I believe that our country can make it, when its production capacity is dynamically modernized, as this significant decision taken by the three partners shows,” he said.

The agreement was presented to the Greek Premier by HP’s senior vice-president, Tony Prophet, and Cosco chief executive Capt. Fu Cheng Qiu.

Under the agreement, HP will distribute its products by maritime transport to Cosco's terminal in Piraeus and then by rail using TrainOSE’s adjacent rail infrastructure. The agreement coincides with the completion of a rail line linking the port of Piraeus with the country’s inter-European railway networks.

HP’s logistics and transport business totals 50 billion US dollars, of which the biggest part covers activities in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.