(ECNS) -- "I am very grateful to China Ocean Shipping Group (Cosco Shipping) for not only offering me a job but also sponsoring my daughter to become a world champion in boxing," Michail Michalakakos, a dockworker at the Piraeus Port operated by Cosco Shipping, said in a special program produced by China News Service.
The Piraeus Port, located 12 km southwest of Athens, is a flagship project in the bilateral Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) collaboration between China and Greece.
Hailed as the "Pearl of the Aegean Sea" with its breathtaking scenery and thousand-year history, the port, Greece's largest, once faced development challenges in the beginning of the new century.
Cosco Shipping signed a 35-year concession agreement with Greece in 2008 and invested in its container terminals No. 2 and No. 3 in 2009.
Before Cosco Shipping took over the operations, some Greek employees had doubts about the compatibility of the business model of Chinese companies at European ports and whether local workers might face layoffs under Chinese management.
However, these concerns naturally vanished.
Michalakakos noted that instead of laying off workers, Cosco Shipping continued to support the port's growth and even sent local young talent to China to learn about port management and enhance their skills.
Working at Cosco Shipping Piraeus Port fills Michalakakos with immense pride, as the company not only values its employees but also supports their families.
His daughter has a passion for boxing, but their family faced financial difficulties, making it impossible for her to participate in international competitions.
Upon learning of their situation, Cosco Shipping decided to sponsor his daughter's participation in these competitions, ultimately enabling her to fulfill her boxing dreams.
A year ago, Michalakakos’s daughter won the world championship in women's boxing (youth category) while representing Greece in Venice, Italy. She will prepare for Greek league competitions.