The mayor of Piraeus Ioannis Moralis met Indian Ambassador Amrit Lugun on Friday to discuss prospects for furthering cooperation on commercial and trade activities, including cooperation between Mumbai and Piraeus ports.
As Piraeus and Mumbai are major port cities, it ensures that there are immense opportunities for cooperation.
Mumbai Port, situated on the West coast of India, has long been the principal gateway to India and has played a pivotal role in the development of the national economy, trade & commerce and prosperity of Mumbai city in particular.
It provides integrated sea-port facilities to handle, store and deliver cargo. The port is well connected through an extensive road network of 126km.
The port has its own railway system connected to the Central and Western Railway through the broad gauge main line. With a track of nearly 100km and five diesel locomotives, the port’s railway system serves docks and important installations and factories on its estates.
Piraeus Port is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, being the natural port of Athens and Greece’s main gateway.
The Port of Piraeus is majority owned by China COSCO Shipping, the 3rd largest container ship company in the world.
Since 2009, when COSCO took over, economic performance of container handling has greatly improved.
Before COSCO took over, the port’s container handling record was at 1.5 million TEUs. These figures rose to 5.65 million TEU in 2019.
Piraeus is now the largest port in the Mediterranean and the fourth largest in Europe, behind Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg.
Excellent relations between Greece and India
The political climate between the two countries is excellent, with relations being multifaceted, harmonious and warm, as the two peoples are linked by close ties of friendship and mutual cooperation, and represent ancient cultures, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated.
President of India Ram Nath Kovind while visiting Greece in 2018 praised the contribution of Alexander the Great to the history of his nation.
“The most famous Greek to come to India was of course Alexander the Great. He arrived at the head of an invading army in 326 BC – but he left as a friend,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Every Indian schoolchild knows of how Alexander and Porus fought a pitched battle and then became allies,” he added.
In October 2020, Greece’s Foreign Minister and his Indian counterpart discussed ways to strengthen diplomatic and military relations between the two countries in a video conference.
Τηλεδιάσκεψη ΥΠΕΞ Ν.Δένδια με ΥΠΕΞ Ινδίας S. Jaishankar για εμβάθυνση διμερών σχέσεων & εξελίξεις σε Αν.Μεσόγειο και Νότια Ασία. pic.twitter.com/hbNo9tc3aE
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) October 29, 2020
Nikos Dendias briefed Indian FM Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Greece’s commitment to resolving tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean in the context of international law.
The Indian Minister emphasized that his country considers the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as the basis for resolving such disputes, referring to a maritime disagreement between his country and Bangladesh which was settled in the context of international arbitration.
The two ministers also discussed strengthening cooperation in the defense sector, and especially in the realm of technology.
Diplomatic sources pointed out that strengthening ties with India is important, given that India’s neighboring country of Pakistan is now conducting joint naval drills with Turkey.
The meeting, they said, is part of Greece’s relations-building effort with rising powers in the world such as India, which has been voted a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.