Discover Southeast Asia event organized by SEV, Enterprise Greece, and the Embassies of Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines

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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Discover Southeast Asia event organized by SEV, Enterprise Greece, and the Embassies of Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines

Athens, 18 September 2019 | The strengthening of Greece's economic relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the opportunities for Greek businesses to become active in the region were the subject of the Discover Southeast Asia event, co-organized today (Wednesday, September 18, 2019) by SEV, Enterprise Greece and the Embassies of Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The event was opened by the Vice-President of SEV, Konstantinos Bitsios, the Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister, Alexandra Papadopoulou, CEO and Chairman of Enterprise Greece, Grigoris Stergioulis, Chailert Limsomboon, Ambassador of Thailand and President of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Committee in Athens, and Nguyen Van Binh, President of the Central Economic Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Mr. Bitsios referred to the steady and rapid growth rates of the Southeast Asian economies, which reached 5.3% in 2018, making it the fastest growing market in the world. Greek exports to the region more than tripled in 2018, to about €2.63 billion, from €710 million in 2017. This increase in exports is from all sectors of the economy, reflecting a wide range of opportunities for Greek exporters. SEV has already carried out business missions to Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, and in February 2020 is organizing, with Enterprise Greece, a mission to Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

In the following discussion, Dino Kusnadi, Director of European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Rosario Lemque, Chargé d'Affaires of the Philippine Embassy, Chailert Limsomboon, Ambassador of Thailand to Greece, and Ta Hoang Linh, Director General for US and European Markets at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Vietnam, outlined emerging business opportunities for Greek businesses in their respective markets. Particular emphasis was placed on the statutory purpose of the ASEAN Union and on the strategic choice of the participating countries to create an economic community, as well as a free trade area of ​​500 million people.

The ASEAN community of the ten Southeast Asian countries (Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar) is a market of 670 million people. Regional consumption of goods and services is expected to reach $2 trillion in 2020, and the region's total GDP is set to reach $3 trillion. Demographic data, coupled with growing consumer disposable income, create significant export opportunities in the construction and infrastructure sectors, industrial products, modern technology, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products, food and beverages, as well as services (education, medical services, etc.).

As part of the event, three Greek companies, Steelmet SA, Mytilineos Group SA and Grantex SA, shared with the audience their experience of establishing a successful presence in the Southeast Asian market.

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