His country is ready to "roll out the red carpet" for investors interested in 13 major ports, says Greece Minister for Shipping Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, speaking to the WSJ. Greece is also willing to accept private money for its smaller harbors, he says.
"I think privately managed companies can be more efficient and more aggressive in the market ... The goal, however, is not just to raise money, it is to attract more business investment." Example: Since 2008, China Ocean Shipping Group has been using the port of Athens as its container transshipment hub for southeast Europe, more than tripling its throughput, and the company is ready to spend $300M over the next six years to boost the port's capacity.
Hoping to match that success, Greece has begun the bidding process for the rest of the port, and the bidding has attracted some of the largest port operators in the world. "We are talking about more than €1B being invested in Piraeus over the next five years," says Varvitsiotis. "It's a big deal and it's a long term deal."