Thursday, 30 January 2020

Greek Introduction in the Azeri Market


Greek Introduction in the Azeri Market

Enterprise Greece, SEV and Embassy of Azerbaijan Event


Athens, 30 January 2020 | Enterprise Greece, in cooperation with the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) and the Embassy of Azerbaijan, this week organized a special event to introduce Greek businesses to export and investment opportunities in the Azeri market with the aim of organizing a future business mission to Baku.

Attending the event, Wednesday, Jan. 29, were SEV Vice President Konstantinos Bitsios, Enterprise Greece CEO Georgios Filiopoulos, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Greece Anar Huseynov, and Fuad Panahhov, Advisor to the President of the Azerbaijan Export & Investment Promotion Foundation – AzPromo.

In opening remarks, Mr. Bitsios noted that the relatively modest level of commercial trade between Greece and Azerbaijan did not reflect the otherwise exceptional level of political cooperation between the two countries. Azerbaijan presents significant opportunities for Greek businesses, he said, notably in the field of pharmaceuticals, raw materials and agriculture and food, which, according to Greece’s statistical authority, have dominated Greek exports for the last three years (2016-2018).

Mr. Filiopoulos stressed the government's commitment to boosting Greek exports as a driver of economic growth and the importance of leveraging Greece's geostrategic position as a trade, energy and transport hub at the crossroads of three continents. “Energy is an area of ​​strategic importance for the two countries' cooperation, but that this cooperation should be extended to other areas that offer mutually beneficial synergies," Mr. Filiopoulos said.

In following remarks, Fuad Panahhov of AzPromo presented the business environment of Azerbaijan and its potential for the Greek business community. Bilateral economic cooperation so far has focused mainly on the energy sector. However, there are opportunities for cooperation in the fields of construction, telecommunications, transport, packaging, chemicals, as well as banking and insurance.

The President of the State Organization for Agro Procurement and Supply OJSC, Leyla Mammadova, focused on the Azeri agri-food sector and consumer habits, while the Azeri Embassy's Secretary in Greece, Khagani Hajiyev, provided useful information on the particular aspects of the Azerbaijani market that are relevant to Greek companies interested in doing business there.

During the event, Kostas Vamvakas (VK PREMIUM), Dimitris Bakolas (European Profiles) and Babis Tsarouchas (BIOS Agrosystems), shared their experiences with the audience, from their successful presence in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is rich in natural resources and occupies a prime geographical location in the wider region. There are significant reserves of oil, gas and bauxite. In 2018, according to the Azeri Statistical Service, the country's GDP amounted to about 80 billion manat ($46.9 billion), up 1.4% compared to 2017. Bilateral trade with Greece amounted to €235 million in the first 11 months of 2019, versus €224.5 million for the whole of 2018. The value of Greek exports for the same period totaled €8 million, while Azeri exports to Greece, exclusively of oil, amounted to €227 million.