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June 09, 2010

China Investing in Greece and Getting a European Trade Hub and Taishan in China plans nuclear-powered growth

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1. Washington Post reports that spurred on by government incentives and bargain-basement prices, the Chinese are planning to pump hundreds of millions -- perhaps billions -- of euros into Greece even as other investors run the other way.

* The cornerstone of those plans is the transformation of the Mediterranean port of Piraeus into the Rotterdam of the south, creating a modern gateway linking Chinese factories with consumers across Europe and North Africa.

* The Chinese shipping giant Cosco assumed full control of the major container dock in Piraeus (35 year lease), just southwest of Athens. In return, the Chinese have pledged to spend $700 million to construct a new pier and upgrade existing docks.

* The Greek government, for its part, is taking on the powerful unions in a bid to ensure that the Chinese can introduce dramatic changes to increase efficiency and productivity

* The Greek government is also courting China for a bevy of other projects, including a sprawling new distribution center in the industrial wastelands west of Athens, a monorail line, five-star hotels and a new maritime theme park

* The investments here in Greece, analysts say, are part of China's plan to create a network of roads, pipelines, railroads and port facilities -- sort of a modern Silk Road -- to boost East-West trade.

* "The Chinese want a gateway into Europe," Theodoros Pangalos, Greece's deputy prime minister, said in an interview. "They are not like these Wall Street [expletive] pushing financial investments on paper. The Chinese deal in real things, in merchandise. And they will help the real economy in Greece."


2. With a large third-generation nuclear power project under construction, Taishan in south China's Guangdong province plans to develop an equipment manufacturing industry driven by nuclear energy.

The Taishan Clean Energy (Nuclear Power) Equipment Industrial Park that opened in February is expected to become one of the nation's centers for nuclear power equipment manufacturing, initially supplying hardware and services to nearby nuclear power projects.

According to Liu Shaolin, director of the industrial park's administrative committee, the planned development will cover about 45 sq km and include design, R&D and technical services.

The initial 3.1-sq km phase of the park will be followed by second 2.4- sq km phase. The initial phase will cost about 2 billion yuan.

Targets call for manufacturers at the park to have 45 percent of the nuclear equipment market in Guangdong and produce goods worth 22 billion yuan by 2020 while playing a leading role in R&D and maintenance of nuclear power equipment.


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