Agreement reached on COSCO participation in German container terminal

German port owner Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has finalized its agreement with a subsidiary of Chinese shipping giant COSCO for a stake in a key container terminal in the Port of Hamburg.

The takeover has sparked a political row over the risks of Chinese investment in the German economy.

The announcement came after the German government gave the green light for the Chinese state-owned shipping conglomerate’s purchase in May after a lengthy review process, but capped COSCO’s stake at 25%.

As part of the agreement, COSCO will acquire Shipping Ports Ltd. (CSPL) acquired a 24.99 percent stake in HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort, which serves as the main destination for COSCO’s fleet from Asia to Northern Europe in Germany.

HHLA said the cooperation will strengthen Hamburg’s position as a logistics hub in the North and Baltic Sea regions, as well as Germany’s position as an industrial nation, but reiterated that the deal would not give COSCO access to the Port of Hamburg or HHLA.

The deal comes amid China’s expansion and growing influence in shipping and logistics, which has been a common theme since the Chinese government launched its One Belt, One Road global infrastructure strategy a decade ago.

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