ATHENS, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese technology and communication solutions giant Huawei inaugurated on Thursday a pilot distribution center at Piraeus port, another significant step enhancing cooperation between Greece and China.
The official opening of the distribution center, at the premises of Chinese multinational shipping conglomerate Cosco's subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal SA (PCT) at Greece's biggest port, is the fulfillment of Huawei's commitment made in May 2013 to the Greek government, during Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' official visit to China.
From now on Huawei, a leading global provider of technology and communications solutions (ICT) which serves more than one-third of the world's population in 140 countries and regions, will be distributing its products to European markets through Greece.
In 2012, the company's turnover amounted to some 35.4 billion U.S. dollars, 66 percent of which came from sales outside China. In the first half of 2013 the group's revenue stood at 18.5 billion dollars, representing a 10.8-percent year on year increase.
"The Huawei distribution center strengthens Piraeus and Greece's position on the global transportation map," Development and Competitiveness Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said during the opening ceremony, which was also attended by Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis.
The investment is regarded as a "confidence vote for Greece by a robust multinational company," Hatzidakis said.
Hatzidakis said he was very happy to celebrate one more Chinese investment in Greece, a country which is thirsty for investment and committed to become a business friendly country.
Varvitsiotis told the audience that the Greek government wants Pireaus to become the number one port and logistic center in the Mediterranean Sea.
"Until now our partnership with COSCO has been an example of how do serious partners can make a big dream come true. We are fully committed in exploiting and increasing our cooperation," said Varvitsiotis.
He said Greece is changing and the ports of Greece are becoming the new gates of European continent and EU market.
On his part, Chinese ambassador to Greece Du Qiwen welcomed the pilot operation of the distribution center, saying that the project will help "translate the advantages of the geographical location of the Port of Piraeus into a tangible competitive edge for long-term development of the Port of Piraeus and of Greece as a whole."
Zhou Jun, Managing Director of Huawei Technologies Greece, noted that the first container with Huawei products arrived in Greece in November, marking the start of the new cooperation with PCT.
"We believe that our presence in the country will contribute to the Greek economy. With the launch of this program, we will confirm the potential for future expansion," he said.
Captain Fu Chengqiu, PCT CEO, expressed gratitude for the Greek government's support to the investment.
With a capacity of handling more than 4 million TEUs per year, PCT has become an important partner for the strategic goals of Huawei, as well as for other multinational giants.
Earlier this year U.S. electronics giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) signed a deal with PCT for the distribution of HP products to Europe, Northern African countries and the Middle East through Piraeus port.
PCT launched operations in the country at Pier II at Piraeus port in 2009 with a plan to turn it into a leading container terminal in the Mediterranean Sea region and ever since has posted remarkable results.