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Newsletter October 2013


One of the largest tobacco companies in the world, Phillip Morris, selected Greece for its new logistics hub for Europe.

Philip Morris Logistics Hub in Agrinio, Western Greece
One of the world’s largest tobacco companies is to establish a tobacco logistics hub for Europe in western Greece. Philip Morris International (PMI) says the facility, for oriental tobacco, will be based at its Papastratos plant in the city of Agrinio. The facility is currently used as a leaf warehouse by Papastratos, the US tobacco multinational’s affiliate in Greece.

The converted facility will become the only PMI-owned logistics hub for oriental tobacco in Europe and will house tobacco from Greece, Bulgaria and FYROM prior to its transport to the company's factories in the European Union, Russia and Ukraine.

"Greece is a strategic oriental tobacco location for Philip Morris International and the cooperation agreement we signed last February with the government opened a new chapter in the history of our company in Greece,” said Papastratos Chairman and Managing Director, Nikitas Theophilopoulos after a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Rural Development Minister Athanasios Tsaftaris.

He described the conversion of the Agrinio warehouse into a logistics hub as an “important next step that will benefit the domestic and international transport sectors, as well as the sector’s exports.

“We hope that this, combined with our overall commitment to investing in Greece, which has exceeded €600 million Euro in the last ten years, will contribute to the country's efforts to exit the economic crisis."

Mr. Samaras said the deal would help establish the sense that everything is changing in Greece. “Greece does not stop here. We will develop all of our comparative advantages to make our homeland a healthy investment destination, with solid new job positions, particularly for our youth,” he said.

The Agrinio warehouse covers 58,000 m2. The conversion of the warehouse started during the final week of August 2013 with the delivery of the first 500 tonnes of tobacco from Bulgaria. It is expected to be completed in 2014, when about 15,000 tonnes of tobacco will be transported through Agrinio.

The cooperation agreement with the government foresees an increase of PMI’s purchases of Greek oriental tobacco by a fifth from 2013 to 2015.

The country’s tobacco cultivation sector employs about 25,000 farmers and workers.
OPAP Privatisation
The transfer of OPAP, Greece’s gaming giant, to the international investment scheme Emma Delta was signed on August 12, 2013 in the presence of Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras – a deal worth 652 million Euro.  Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras noted that funds that total 622 million Euro for part of the privatisation will be transferred in October, and the remaining 30 million in ten equal installments. "It's a message of determination, but also the ability of the Greek government" said the Minister. John Emiris, the Head of TAIPED, the Greek privatisation agency, characterised the privatisation as "emblematic", saying it would benefit both OPAP investors and the Greek economy.

Dimitris Melissanidis, representing Emma Delta, said that a new chapter for OPAP is opening, and that this signing indicates that both Greek and foreign entrepreneurs trust and support Greece.

Redestos Group - Agrotechnology Cooperation with Qatar
The Redestos group and its subsidiary company Agritex Energy is in cooperation with Qatar in the field of agrotechnology. The company owns the largest glass greenhouse in Greece (100 acres), in Alexandria, Imathia, where they grow organic tomatoes, under the brand name Lucia. The company employs technology to produce electricity from thermal energy and natural gas, and has been approved as an independent electricity producer.

Dicussions with Qatar started during the visit of the Greek Prime Minister to Doha.

Agritex is considering cooperation with Qatar’s Hassad Food Company in their new investment in Nea Kessani, Thrace, which includes the production of a 190-acre unit, where the company will grow different types of Lucia tomatoes (an investment of 20 million Euro). Hassad Food Company, the largest company in the Emirates, invests worldwide in the agro-livestock sector, for the production of fresh fruit and vegetables with geothermal energy.