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Exports & Strategic Investments
As one of the oldest Euro-Atlantic member states in the region of Southeast Europe, Greece enjoys a prominent geopolitical role as a middle power, due to its political and geographical proximity to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Its main allies are the United States, France, Italy, Bulgaria, the other NATO countries, Cyprus and the rest of the European Union.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Greece also maintains strong diplomatic relations with Russia, Armenia, Serbia, Albania, Romania, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel, while at the same time focuses at improving further the good relations with the Arab World, Caucasus, China, India and Japan. As member of both the EU and the Union for the Mediterranean, Greece is a key player in the eastern Mediterranean region and has encouraged the collaboration between neighbors, as well as promoting the Energy Triangle, for gas exports to Europe. Greece also has the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor.
GREEK EXPORTERS 2021
“GREEK BUSINESS OPENNESS: EXPORT AND BUSINESS COOPERATION OPPORTUNITIES”
I consider myself fortunate to be writing this brief article for “Greek Exporters” at this particular moment. I am fortunate as the 2021 digital edition of your useful guide coincides with the bicentennial commemoration of the outbreak of the Greek Revolution in 1821, a struggle for independence which led to the creation of the modern Greek State following centuries of oppression and foreign domination.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
There is a connection, believe me. For centuries, the Greeks were known for their trading capabilities. The stereotype of the ‘conquering traveling merchant’ was so widespread that in certain central European languages the word Greek coincided with the word for merchant. It is quite a well-known fact that it was the extensive commercial network of such merchants that established the secret “Friendly Society”, an underground revolutionary organization which subsequently played a critical role in Greece’s successful War of Independence.
Perhaps, it is this rich tradition in commerce that has re-emerged in recent years, making Greece a trading protagonist once again. In fact, despite the ongoing pandemic, Greece recorded an increase of 3.2% in exports for 2020.
All successful export promotion policies should have clearly defined priorities, goals, and objectives.
Exports must increase in sectors beyond the petroleum products, whereas services need to go beyond tourism and shipping to include and other sectors with Greek quality products, the creative industry and new technologies. Thus, our government has taken important steps to improve the productivity and technological content of domestic goods, while providing many incentives that nurture innovation.
In closing, I would like to draw some attention to the title of my portfolio: I am in charge of Economic Diplomacy and Openness at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is expected that most people associate this title with attracting foreign investments and boosting exports.
However, ‘openness’ means more than just exports. It actually means the general internationalization of our economy: mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and establishing Greek enterprises in new markets.
I am confident that the Greek government is doing everything possible to create a ‘level playing field’ for Greek businesses so that they can in turn venture out and conquer the world. To this end, I want to wish everyone Good Luck!
United States of America-Greece
The Greek Government, through the Acceleration and transparency of implementation of Strategic Investments Law, provides the international and Greek investment community with a stable and transparent investment framework that includes regulations, procedures, and administrative mechanisms for the implementation of major public and private projects. Through the Law, critical factors that have inhibited major investment in Greece are abolished.
The Law allows businesspeople to proceed without bureaucracy, legal framework complexity, and opacity which, to date, have discouraged investors and significantly delayed the implementation of major projects.
The legislation is aimed at the development of investment projects that deliver long-term, high-impact positive results for Greece ’s national economy. In turn, this will lead to the creation of a more modern infrastructure, advanced transport and telecom networks, and better services to citizens. Improved economic competitiveness, job creation, the production of innovative, high-tech, value-added products and services, and the development of environmentally friendly and socially responsible companies will be achieved.
"A Historic Day for Science", said the Greek CEO of Pfizer, Mr Albert Bourla, after submitting the nCov19 vaccine to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization. Pfizer is one of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies, founded in 1849, Brooklyn NY.
GrForGrowth initiative embraces research, development and investment by Microsoft in Greece. The sustainable project includes datacentres infrastructure, a significant technology commitment to support the people, government and businesses of all sizes in Greece with technology and resources to create new opportunities for growth.
"By a substantial margin, this is the largest investment Microsoft has made in Greece in the 28 years we have been operating here. In part, this reflects confidence that our world-leading datacenter technology can help enable innovation and growth across Greek economy. In addition, this large investment reflects our optimism about Greeces future, its forward-leaning government, and the countrys ongoing economic recovery", said Brad Smith, President, Microsoft.
Since the opening ceremony of the the Chinese International Import Expo 2019 in Shanghai, China announced to approve a plan for additional investment of 600 million euros in the Port of Piraeus, which was already the largest port in the Mediterranean. It can and will become one of the three largest in Europe.
Minister of Shipping and Island Policy
On May 2020, work on the further development and upgrade of the Port of Piraeus, Greeces largest harbour, is proceeding smoothly as planned despite nCoV19, stated Greek Shipping and Island Policy Minister Ioannis Plakiotakis. "The Chinese investment in Piraeus is a strategic one that can benefit the local economy and society.
"We must move forward according to plan, sending the message that we are returning to normalcy and investments are progressing smoothly", the Minister included in his speech.
Hailing the "Excellent cooperation between the two sides", Ioannis Plakiotakis added that the Greek government last fall approved, within just three months, a revised master plan that foresees at least 600 million euro worth of mandatory investments.
"The construction of a new cruise pier is in progress based on the concession agreement. Works are proceeding without issues. They should proceed, because it is important to project an image of normalcy during this critical period, when the entire global economy is being tested", he stressed.
Over the next decade and-a-half, imports to China are expected to rise by $40 trillion, making the Chinese market a high priority for Greek exporters.