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Newsletter March 2013

EDITORIAL

Amid a global climate of rapid change, investors are discovering that Greece provides significant opportunity in a variety of sectors. The previous two months have been pivotal in Greece’s dramatic shift toward implementing reform, attracting new investment activity—and investor interest—and repositioning itself on the international investment map.

The Greek government has adopted a proactive role in charting a determined course for Greece that is friendly to investment, promotes growth, and welcomes new business.

The results have been promising—we might even say impressive.

In the last few months, major international players such as Barilla, Delhaize Group, FrieslandCampina, Heineken, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods (Mondelēz International, Inc.), Lafarge Group, Nestlé, Novartis AG, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, SCA Hygiene Products, Société Bic, Unilever, Vodafone Group Plc, Watson Pharmaceuticals, and Ytong-Thrakon have upgraded their positions in Greece and have announced plans that increase production or investment in Greece.   

In addition, the first meeting of the new Joint Greece-Qatar Cooperation Committee held recently in Athens promises to ignite significant interest from Qatar, leading to expanded investment by the Gulf State in Greece.

And the recent signing of the agreement by Hewlett Packard, Cosco, and Hellenic Railways to establish the Port of Piraeus as a logistics hub for Europe—with advantageous access to North Africa and the Middle East—is a game changer in Greece’s geo-economic role.

As Greece’s fundamentals improve significantly—the current account deficit shrank by 73% to 5.58 billion Euro in 2012—the investment landscape is registering a marked shift to positive territory.

New initiatives to bolster the Investment Law, efforts to provide even more traction to Fast Track legislation, and moves that continue to reduce bureaucracy throughout all levels of the state apparatus are all redefining the investment framework in Greece.

I am confident that this momentum will gain speed and power. Investors who have considered Greece in the past, but were hesitant, are now assuming positive positions and taking definitive steps.

Greece will continue to be an important investment destination in 2013 as fundamentals coalesce favorably for the business community.


Stephanos Issaias
Chief Executive Officer