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Newsletter October 2013


Greece: Logical for Logistics

A raft of decisions by global leaders to establish logistics hubs in Greece demonstrates the country’s highly attractive geostrategic position.

Chinese Giant ZTE Corporation to Construct Logistics Center in Piraeus
The construction of a logistics centre in Piraeus, Greece’s largest commercial seaport, will get underway in the last quarter of the year by the Chinese ZTE Corporation telecommunications company.

The decision was made public following a meeting between Development and Competitiveness Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and ZTE Corporation Vice President for Central & Eastern Europe Chang Xiao Wei, which was held in the context of a bilateral memorandum of cooperation signed during Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' recent visit to China.

It was preparatory in nature ahead of a visit by ZTE Corporation President and Executive Director Lirong Shi to Greece in October and his scheduled meeting with the Prime Minister.

The Chinese company, the fourth largest telecommunications company worldwide, plans to make more investments in Greece, including the establishment of a Research and Development Centre and the opening of a production line that will cover European market needs.

September 11, 2013
(Source: ANA)

Seven Schemes Proceed to Second Stage for Airport Privatisations
Four bids, out of the eleven original bids, proceeded to the second stage of the tender for the privatisation of two groups of regional airports.

Group A includes the airports of Thessaloniki, Corfu, Chania, Kefalonia, Zante, Preveza, and Kavala and Group B includes the airports of Rhodes, Kos, Samos, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, and Skiathos.

Until the closing of the tender, TAIPED, Greece’s privatisation agency, may include up to three additional airports, among them Alexandroupolis, Araxos, Kalamata and Nea Aghiali in Group A and the airports of Karpathos, Nea Aghiali and Lemnos in Group B.

TAIPED announced that the seven bids that proceeded to the second phase are:
- The French "Aeroport De La Cote d'Azur", which manages the airport of Nice in southern France
- Greek construction firm J & P Avax and Swiss "Zurich Airport", which operates Zurich airport
- Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos"
- The cartel of FRAPORT AG and the Copelouzos Group
- A consortium of French Vinci and Ellaktor
- Argentinian Corporacion America and Greece’s Metka
- The American group Advent

The tender provides for the right of use, management, development, expansion, maintenance, and operation of regional airports, which are divided into the two groups.

Through this process, investments should help increase the capacity of regional airports, and improve service levels to users and the consequent strengthening of tourism and economic development of regional Greece.

During the second phase of the tender, the investors will gain access to detailed information and conditions of the tender process.

TAIPED Announces Tender for Greek Thermal Springs
The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) has launched a public tender for investors to submit an expression of interest for four thermal springs in the region of Fthiotida.

According to TAIPED, the tender aims to develop the region’s spa and health tourism potential. The fund said it expects investments in infrastructure and services that will help strengthen the tourism product of the region and create a “substantial number of jobs.”

The thermal springs are those of Ipati, Thermopyles and Koniaviti and Loutropoli in Kamena Vourla.

The tender process will be conducted in two phases. Interested parties that wish to participate in the process must submit their interest by October 23, 2013.

Prime Minister in Talks with IBM and Nestle Leaders
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras separately met on August 26, 2013 with representatives of IBM and Nestle Hellas to discuss business collaboration and expansion.

IBM President and CEO Virginia Rometty and IBM Hellas Chief Executive Spyros Poulidas discussed the government's intention to promote Greece as a technology and innovation hub in the greater area, developing the necessary technical expertise, attracting investments and using the existing human resources in Greece.

IBM expressed interest in collaboration with small and medium-size enterprises, providing training and programmes to support them. It is also interested in creating a business analytics centre for investments in Europe, a project that could create about 120 positions for specialised staff.

Ms. Rometty explained how IBM works with governments using Big Data, Cloud Computing, Social Business networks and mobile technologies.

Mr. Poulidis said the company has a 75-year presence in the Greek market and is involved in projects that include free access to its products for research and study at Greek universities, linking them with institutions abroad and helping them create graduate programmes in Big Data and Business Analytics.

During Mr. Samaras' meeting with Nestle manager for Europe Laurent Freixe they discussed the expansion of the company's collaboration with Greek distributors, based on the company's four plants in Greece. The company, Mr. Freixe said, had an investment programme that looked to create 10,000 new positions throughout Europe; in Greece, there would be 600 openings of a three-year duration each.

August 27, 2013
(Source: ANA)

GEK-Terna Cooperation with Qatar Petroleum International (QPI)
GEK-Terna signed a strategic alliance agreement with Qatar Petroleum International (QPI). The strategic alliance between the companies involves the joint implementation of investments, not only in Greece but also in the wider region of Southeast Europe.

Initially, the agreement provides for the acquisition of 25% of the "Heron II" natural gas fueled power plant by QPI for 58 million Euro. The acquisition of 25% of "Heron II" is the first international QPI participation in the production of electricity.

The GEK - QPI agreement also marks the first State of Qatar investment company in Greece and it is a significant success for GEK-Terna on a national level, as it is a vote of confidence in the prospects of Qatar's involvement in the Greek energy market and the Greek economy in general.

QPI was founded in 2006 and is a subsidiary of the Qatar Petroleum Group, Qatar’s state petroleum company. QPI is active in Europe (UK, Italy), North America (USA, Canada), Asia (Singapore, Vietnam) and Africa.

External Trade
Greece saw a major improvement in its balance of external trade of goods in the first seven months of 2013, where exports increased from 12.2 billion to 13.2 billion Euro and imports were reduced from 25 billion to 22.9 billion Euro.

Primary Budget Surplus
Greece registered a primary budget surplus and a vast improvement in the deficit of its state budget as a whole in the January-July period, according to the Ministry of Finance. Primary surplus was 2.555 billion Euro, against a deficit of 3.083 billion in the first seven months of last year. The overall deficit came to 1.929 billion Euro, against a target of 7.528 billion and 13.216 billion Euro in the same period of 2012.

Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said he was confident Greece would be in the black at the end of the year. "The target to reach a surplus at the end of the year becomes more and more feasible," he said.

Austerity has helped Greece cut its primary deficit by 9.2% of gross domestic product in 2010-2012, one of the largest fiscal improvements recorded worldwide.

Net FDI Inflows
Net FDI inflows for the same period reached 910 million Euro.

Source: Bank of Greece