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FILE PHOTO: Chinese container ship "Cosco Shipping Aries" is unloaded at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg Germany July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

Germany to Review China Stake in Hamburg Port Terminal

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April 12, 2023

BERLIN, April 12 (Reuters) – Germany is reviewing its decision to allow China’s Cosco to take a stake in one of logistics company HHLA’s three terminals at Hamburg port, a spokesperson for the German economy ministry said on Wednesday.

The comments came after it emerged that the Tollerort terminal had been classified as critical infrastructure this year, threatening to relaunch a political row over the risks of Chinese investment in the German economy.

The ministry spokesperson said it was now being determined whether and under what conditions Cosco would be allowed to take a stake in the terminal.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave the green light in October last year to Cosco taking a 24.9% stake, resisting strong pushback from within the three-way governing coalition.

A spokesperson for Scholz said his stance on the issue had not changed.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, HHLA confirmed that its Hamburg container terminals had been registered as critical infrastructure at the start of the year, confirming a report by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

This followed the creation of a new category for loading facilities in sea and inland ports with cargo volume of 3.27 million tonnes per year, an HHLA spokesperson said.

The HHLA group had already been classed as critical infrastructure under pre-existing criteria, the spokesperson said, so the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)’s assessment meant “no significant change” for the company.

The BSI did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

(Reporting by Friederike Heine and Andreas Rinke, Editing by Matthias Williams, Rachel More, Kirsten Donovan)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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