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Newsletter April 2011


Greece Boosts Investment Relations

Greece has signed official protocols with India, China, and Serbia designed to boost investment and trade in Southeast Europe and Asia.

Greece-India Sign Investment Protocol
Greece and India signed a protocol for strengthening bilateral cooperation in investment, wrapping up the 6th Joint Greek-Indian Ministerial Committee held in Athens in March. The two sides also agreed that Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis should visit New Delhi as the Head of a business delegation in the near future.

"We want to build up strategic economic cooperation with a dynamically growing economy and this is very significant for Greece, which is in the midst of an effort for outward-looking growth," Mr. Kouvelis said.

The agreement covers a number of sectors, including renewable energy sources and green technologies; tourism; port development; air and sea transport; science and technology; agriculture; and construction and infrastructure—all areas that are currently growing strongly in India.
Cooperation between the two sides will be based on the complementarity of economic sectors in two countries and the very good political relations between them, Mr. Kouvelis said.

Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia, who co-chaired the meeting with Minister Kouvelis, spoke of "great potential" for promoting trade transactions and investments.

March 29, 2011

Greece-China Memorandum
A government and congress delegation from Shaanxi province, in central China, on a visit to southern Greece, signed a memorandum of cooperation with the regional authority of Peloponnese, focusing on the sectors of culture, tourism and agriculture. 

Shaanxi province Congress president Zhao Leji and a five-member delegation toured the ancient sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus before visiting the city of Tripolis, where the memorandum was signed.

The municipality of Kalamata, in the Peloponnese, will participate in the 2011 World Horticultural Exposition to be held in its twin city of Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, on April 28-October 22, 2011.

March 29, 2011
Boosting Ties with Serbia
Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis, speaking at a Greek-Serb business forum in Belgrade, stressed the need for the widening of economic cooperation between Greece and Serbia.

The deputy Foreign minister said that Greek businesspeople are interested in investing in Serbia in the sectors of energy, and in renewable sources in particular, infrastructure, manufacturing and tourism.

"We desire to strengthen economic cooperation, we are encouraging the investments of Greek business in Serbia, but the investments must also move in the opposite direction, so that both sides will equally benefit," Mr. Kouvelis said.

April 2, 2011

New Business Plan Competition Offers $100,000
Make Innovation Work—MIW—is a competition designed to reward business plans that are innovative and entrepreneurial. It is also designed to make Greece more competitive. The competition is being organised by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in association with Cisco and other corporate sponsors.

Applicants may take part in the Make Innovation Work competition by submitting an innovative and feasible business plan to be implemented in Greece.

The rules and regulations are simple and straightforward:
• Make Innovation Work is open to any Greek or Cypriot citizen or legal entity, including those of the global Diaspora.
• The business plan must be innovative, in some way prove to advance the Greek economy, be feasible, and must be submitted by the deadline of May 16, 2011.
• First prize is 100.000 dollars US, plus significant legal, technological, and organisational support.
• The winning proposals will be announced in October 2011. 

Business Plans must be in one of four sectors that are cornerstones of Greece’s economy and growth: Green Energy, Tourism, Alternative Agriculture, and Transportation and Shipping.

Technology can play a minor or major role in any of the business plans. Business plans can be web based, bricks and mortar based, or a combination of the two.

Make Innovation Work is under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Greece.

Black Sea Bank Doubles Up Greece Portfolio
The Black Sea Bank of Commerce and Development will double its portfolio in Greece by developing 12 to 16 new programmes worth 200 million Euros in the next four years, Andrei Kodhakov, the bank’s chairman said. Mr. Kodhakov said “Only in Greece we do not have intermediate links from the financial system and we are very interested in developing such bonds”.

The bank’s chairman said fields of particular interest are renewable energy sources, "green development", shipping, tourism, supporting SMEs, infrastructure and mainly actions through co-financing with the public sector.

The maximum sum of funding per customer will total 38 million Euros and would be no less than three million Euros. Mr. Kodhakov noted that a number of Greek enterprises, such as Alumil, Yula, Avin, Shelman, Hygeia, Neochimiki and Maillis have already received funding from the development bank and said the portfolio for small- and medium-size enterprises will be raised in the future.

Greece, Russia and Turkey are the biggest shareholders in Black Sea Bank, each owning a 16.5-percent equity stake.

February 19, 2011

AIMS HQ in Athens
The headquarters of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) is to be transferred to Athens, following a Memorandum of Cooperation signed by Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos and AIMS President Paco Borao. The move will link Athens with the Marathon race movement and make it the world capital of Marathons.

Under the Memorandum, AIMS will be responsible for promoting Greece as a tourism destination in all the games given under its aegis throughout the world.

In return the Greek state has an obligation to provide space for the new headquarters to be established, using part of the state-sector's real estate assets for this purpose. It will also provide its offices with two staff for secretarial support.

The cooperation memorandum has a five-year duration, the same as the contract for the office space provided, and the sponsorship agreement is for three years.

February, 2011