A recent news article published in the Splash 247 states that COSCO puts Hamburg terminal investment on hold.
China’s COSCO Shipping Ports
China’s COSCO Shipping Ports has said it will delay completing the acquisition of a stake in a container terminal in Germany’s largest port to the end of the year.
COSCO’s terminal arm moved last year to take a 35% stake in the operator of the container terminal in Tollerort in the port of Hamburg, which would mark the first time ever that a foreign firm has been able to invest in this famous port.
Tollerort is one of three container terminals belonging to Hamburger Hafen und Lagerhausgesellschaft (HHLA), a company in which the local Hamburg government has a majority stake. HHLA and Hamburg’s mayor have approved the deal.
Berlin must approve the deal
However, last month the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology started to voice concerns about COSCO’s entrance. Berlin must approve the deal, and now an investment review procedure based on the Foreign Trade Act is under way.
A rejection by Berlin would be “a one-sided, competition-distorting disadvantage for Hamburg compared to Rotterdam and Antwerp, where Cosco already owns terminal shares,” warned Hamburg’s mayor Peter Tschentscher, interviewed by Reuters.
COSCO is already well entrenched in the city, operating its intra-European brand, Diamond Line, from there.
The Hamburg/COSCO debate is part of wider discussion Germany is having about its interaction with China, with many businesses now openly talking of scaling back business there.
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