Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Lesson From Cosco

The Chinese company Cosco was successful with its bid for 67% of the harbor in Piraeus. This was only a few weeks ago and yet, Cosco is already announcing major new plans, among others to transform Piraeus into a major holiday cruise port. I would like to draw attention to the following sentences in the respective article in the Ekathimerini:

"To that end, Cosco will embark on infrastructure investments that will gradually reach up to 135 MEUR".

"It (Cosco) is also beginning a consultation process with cruise groups in mid-March in Florida, in the context of the industry's main annual exhibition".

"Cosco officials will be noting all of the cruise groups' remarks and demands that it is prepared to satisfy, with the aim of providing services and facilities that Piraeus has not supported to date".

"A Cosco source said: 'Piraeus will roll out a red carpet to the groups which will support the project of turning the Greek cruise market into a giant'".

If the Greek government is truly interested in attracting foreign investments, it would be well advised to copy a page from Cosco's approach to attracting customers. One doesn't tell potential investors "Prove to us that you will make us happy!" Instead, one politely asks them "Please tell us how we could make you happy while becoming happy ourselves at the same time!"

A few years ago, I attempted to describe a Greek party that I could vote for. Its party program would be based on creating among Greeks 4 obsessions: "Obsession with import substitution"; "Obsession with exports"; "Obsession with tourism" and "Obsession with foreign investments". Many people will quickly remind me that the word 'obsession' sounds like a mental illness. True, if one wants to give it a negative twist. If one prefers to give it a positive twist, it's a means for generating enthusiasm.


  1. Good Post Mr. Kastner,

    As i have said for a while now, privatizations are and should be the 1st priority. Imagine Cosco in OLP and the 15 peripheral airports in 2 years. Greece will be buzzing with new life of toursim. That is if we are still in Schengen. Although I consider this as a "off the record" threat. (Maybe you should write about the immigrant crisis and Schengen.)

    Back to the above, it is a breathe of fresh air. And Cosco (the chinese) are ideal partners because they are liked by everybody. Lefts and rights for respective reasons.

    I have no concern about what this current governement wants, as their time is ending. The only use for them is to pass as many privatizations and bills for good change hopefully and get out of office.

    I am afraid that even with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, austerity will continue serverly, but i hope that he is more constructive and with specific goals. Most certainly when he does come, the already awarded bid of old ellinikos airport will be issued as contruction can begin. Likewise the Greek Gold Company to continue construction. The bidder (of Elinikos) has estimated that it will create 20,000 jobs and generate revenue to 1% of Greece's GDP. Consider OLP's Cosco being so close this will be a great tourist attraction.

    This (ellinikos), and Stavros Niahros Culture Center ( to be finished, plus the normal ancient sites, athens will be a bussle of enjoyment for all toruists.

    Even though bad news is a daily thing, i have hope for the reconstruction of Greece in our turtle rate.

    OSE also needs to be sold but one point at a time.


  2. Yes, and trust the crafty structured Chinese to ask the potential users what they would like to have. You can add obsession with client satisfaction to your list. Do you think the ministry of tourism has ever asked the major tour operators what they would like to have? Ellinikon? Stavros Niarchos Culture Center? Onassis Culture Center?