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Newsletter December 2013

NETWORKING NEW MARKETS

Inviting South Africans to Invest in Greece

An official Greek Delegation headed by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Kyriakos Gerontopoulos visited South Africa in November 2013 and invited South African businesspeople to make investments in Greece.

On November 19, an investment seminar, attended by more than 50 businesspeople, was organised by the Greek section of the HIP Alliance, an association of powerful South African entrepreneurs, including Greeks, Italians and Portuguese. 

“Greece is a major gateway for doing business in Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East, and has valuable experience and expertise,” Mr. Gerontopoulos told participants.

He invited South African companies to explore the significant investment opportunities in Greece, “in areas such as renewable energy, communication technology, pharmaceuticals, engineering, energy, shipping, tourism and real estate.”

At the same time, he called on them to participate in Greece’s Privatisation Programme and the Programme for the Development of Public Assets.

After attending the event, Minister Gerontopoulos met with HIP Alliance officials, as well as representatives of Greek Communities in the Johannesburg area, with discussion focusing on their concerns.

Mr. Constantinos Angelopoulos, Investment Promotion Manager at Invest in Greece Agency, also participated in the Mission and the B2B meetings with South African (SA) companies and Business Associations. He delivered a presentation on Investment Opportunities in Greece during the investment seminar. The main interest raised by South African companies was in sectors including tourism and real estate, energy and mining. Invest in Greece Agency is following up with the companies that participated in the seminar and the B2B meetings, promoting main sectors of interest.

November 20, 2013
(Source: ANA, Invest in Greece Agency)

Ambassadors Visit Athenian Brewery
A visit to the largest brewery in Greece provides insight to Ambassadors from around the world.

20 Ambassadors from around the world participated in an onsite visit organised by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Greece and Ambassador of Argentina, Mr. Jorge Alejandro Mastropietro, and Invest in Greece Agency, to the Athenian Brewery plant in Athens on November 6, 2013.
 
Jan Theofile Versteeg, Ambassador of Netherlands in Athens, welcomed his colleagues, and Athenian Brewery’s Managing Director, Zooullis Mina, presented an overview of the local beer market and the company’s vision and strategy. Lex Rontelltap, Supply Chain Director, discussed the history of beer and explained the brewing process.

The Ambassadors had an opportunity to visit the factory and see stages of the brewing process. Following the plant tour, a guest chef discussed food and beer pairings with the Ambassadors. 
 
Athenian Brewery SA, a member of the Heineken N.V Group of Companies, was founded in 1963 by a team of Greek entrepreneurs. Athenian Brewery’s first plant started its operation in 1965 in Athens, producing beer under the Amstel brand. In 1975 a second plant was inaugurated in Thessaloniki; in 1985 Athenian Brewery bought its third plant, inside the Industrial Zone of Patras, and in 1993 another plant was added, in Lamia, for the bottling of IOLI natural mineral water.
 
Today, the company brews and bottles some of the most famous brands of the Greek beer market—Amstel, Amstel Pils, Amstel Radler, Amstel Bock, Heineken, ALFA, Fischer, Buckler and VIOS 5. Through an extensive distribution and sales network, they market their products in 20 countries across 5 continents.
 
In the framework of its corporate social responsibility programme, Athenian Brewery S.A is committed to reducing the impact of their operations on the environment. The brewery has initiated an innovative, win-win contractual farming program with Greek farmers who grow barley. The program began in 2008 and, since then, the company has purchased Greek barley worth 10 million Euro. All the barley used is 100% Greek. To date, the company is collaborating with 1,100 Greek producers and has created 320 new jobs.

Visits such as this provide valuable insight into the Greek market and allow foreign diplomats to better assess potential business partnerships and investment opportunities in Greece.