Chinese state-owned China COSCO Shipping Corp. Ltd and Shanghai port operator Shanghai International Port (Group) Co. Ltd have expressed interest in expanding the southern Portuguese port of Sines, the Financial Times reports.

The British newspaper says a tender to run the Vasco da Gama container terminal at the port was launched in October, with bids expected to be opened around the middle of this year.

The winning bidder will be required to invest over 640 million euros (about US$710 million) in the facility.

The report quotes Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva as saying in an interview his country is eager for more Chinese investment in its industries, in particular the automotive and electric mobility industry.

Portuguese exports to China are worth less than 1 billion euros a year, and Portugal wants greater access to the Chinese market for its products, the Financial Times quotes Mr Santos Silva as saying.