Hamburg/Kiel The Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) has warned against a participation by the Chinese terminal operator Cosco in Hamburg’s HHLA terminal in Tollerort (CTT) without strict conditions. This “should above all include a guarantee that the Hamburg Senate has insight into the digital infrastructure used by Cosco for processing trade and can influence it,” said IfW trade expert Rolf J. Langhammer on Thursday. This infrastructure must be kept open to competitors.
“The same applies to Cosco’s pricing policy, which must not lead to competitors being squeezed out of the market as a result of support from the Chinese state,” emphasized the IfW expert. If conditions are violated, the Senate must secure the right to revoke participation.
As a state-owned company, Cosco is under the direct influence of the government, whose goals are unknown. Promises to concentrate more cargo on Hamburg than before in return for the participation fueled the suspicion of behavior that was not only oriented towards business goals.
Almost exactly a year ago, the Hamburg port logistics specialist HHLA and Cosco agreed that Cosco Shipping Ports Limited (CSPL) would receive a 35 percent minority stake in Terminal CTT and that the world’s second largest container shipping company would concentrate its cargo flows in the Hanseatic city. The deal must be approved by the federal government. Most recently, the “Manager Magazin” reported that Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) had expressed concerns.
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