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Newsletter May 2013


Greek-Russian Business Council Meeting

The Greek-Russian Business Council met in Athens to spur trade and investment between the two countries and lay plans for increased commercial ties.

The Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) hosted a meeting of the Greek-Russian Business Council in Athens on March 12, 2013 as part of the 8th Greek-Russian Joint Ministerial Committee.

The Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, Maxim Yurievich Sokolov; Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas, representing the Greek political leadership; and the Secretary General for International Economic Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Panayiotis G. Mihalos, attended the meeting. The parties communicated to Greek and Russian businesspeople the need to reinforce and strengthen Greek-Russian economic relations.

Aristomenis (Aris) Syngros, Chairman of Invest in Greece, delivered a presentation on investment opportunities in Greece.

The First Vice President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and the President of the Russian side of the Business Council, Alexander Murychev, led the discussions. Eighteen representatives of agencies and companies of Russia, from the fields of energy, agriculture industry, financial services, trade, and transportation also attended. Forty Greek companies, active or interested in the Russian market, participated, representing the Greek business community.

Executive Vice President of the Federation, Haris Kyriazis, welcomed the guests to the meeting and noted that SEV is working steadily to strengthen and deepen the outward-looking profile of Greek entrepreneurship and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been a valuable supporter in their effort.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas said that the Greek-Russian Business Council would contribute "in our common pursuit for bilateral economic relations to reflect the excellent level of political relations between the two countries." The Greek Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that we need to develop cooperation between Greek and Russian high-tech companies, research centers and universities, taking advantage of the expertise and high quality human resources at their disposal. He invited the businesspeople of the Russian Federation to turn their interest to the Greek market, where they can easily find suitable partners and form profitable ventures. Mr. Kourkoulas mentioned the importance of attracting foreign investment from the Russian Federation in the area of privatisation.

The Secretary General for International Economic Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Panayiotis G. Mihalos, referred to the new era of Greek-Russian relations in key economic sectors, including energy, tourism, trade and investment. He made special reference to the Greek request for an increase of the number of Russian cities to which regular flights are scheduled. Mr. Mihalos emphasised the broad privatisation programme implemented by Greece, and the recently adopted law on strategic investments which, through a series of incentives and facilities, provides the basis for further promotion of bilateral cooperation.

Haris David, Vice President of the Greek side of the Business Council, stressed that energy cooperation is a high priority in Greek-Russian economic relations, as it provides opportunities in construction, industry, farm products, technology, and tourism. There are also significant prospects in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, health services, and new forms of tourism. The parties discussed the problems in transportation of Greek products to Russia, the complex procedures in Russian customs and tariff charges, the promotion programmes for Greek products in the Russian market, and the creation of Greek-Russian partnerships.

Christos Dimas, President of the Greek-Russian Chamber of Commerce, also addressed the meeting.