Tuesday, 21 May 2024




Athens, May 21, 2024, | The event "Discover Thailand" was organized by Enterprise Greece, SEV (Hellenic Federation of Enterprises), the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), and the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE), with the support of Eurobank, on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at the offices of SEV. The event aimed at strengthening economic relations with Thailand as well as informing Greek businesses about the business and investment opportunities in the market. As highlighted, Thailand is a developing country, which in recent decades has shown remarkable progress in its socio-economic development and is one of the fastest growing economies in SA. Asia, is based mainly on tourism, manufacturing, and the production of high-tech products.

In her welcome speech, Ms. Vicky Makrygianni, Director of International Relations, and Regional Development at SEV said: "Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia - after Indonesia - and plays the role of a business hub for developing neighboring countries. It is an outward-looking economy, with international trade accounting for about 134% of its GDP. In terms of our bilateral trade, although the overall value is relatively low, there is significant room for growth in specific sectors such as food (due to rising consumer incomes and a dynamic tourism industry), energy (due to the national energy plan recently announced by the Thai government), technology and telecommunications (due to its ambition to become a digital infrastructure hub for the ASEAN region), as well as construction, building materials, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and healthcare. Strengthening our commercial, bilateral relations is feasible and can work to the benefit of both countries."

Mr. Fanis Matsopoulos, Member of the Board of ACCI, addressed a greeting, stating: "Thailand is a country where, in addition to tourism, the production of high-tech products has contributed to stimulating its development, increasing GDP and consequently in GDP per capita. Also, as a country, it has emerged as an economic model as it has succeeded in lifting large masses of the population out of poverty, with an investment-friendly environment, which is extremely important for attracting foreign direct investment. The Greek economy has turned around since 2019 and achieved growth, but the Greek government has also focused on changing the country's production model. And here is the key point where our two business communities can focus and achieve, always through the private sector, mutually beneficial trade relations, as the US$ 200 million bilateral trade does not reflect the potential and dynamics of both economies. Also, the geographical location of Thailand, which is located in the heart of N.A. of Asia, acts as an important geopolitical factor in this critical region for the global economy."

The CEO of Enterprise Greece, Dr. Marinos Giannopoulos, pointed out that Thailand is an example of adaptability and ingenuity and that the two countries are distinguished for their innovation and economic development. In addition, he added that: "Thailand and Greece can further develop their bilateral strategic partnership by focusing on several initiatives and sectors such as technology and innovation exchange, expansion of bilateral trade flows, space industry cooperation, tourism, manufacturing, supply chain, and the food and beverage industry. The possibilities are many and offered to strengthen our trade relations, but also to start new partnerships that will lead the two countries to business excellence, innovation, and prosperity".

In his greeting, Mr. Panagiotis Hassapis, Executive Vice President of SEVE, emphasized the importance of Thailand as an export destination for SEVE, recalling the multiple business missions organized from 2005 until the most recent one in 2019. He spoke about the trade relations between the two countries. In particular, he stated that the total trade in goods between the two countries is at a very early stage, with the total value of merchandise transactions for 2023 amounting to 207 million euros. He particularly emphasized the very low value of imports of Greek goods from Thailand, where in 2023 it reached 65 million euros, about the total value of its imports from all countries, where for 2023 amounted to 270 billion euros. He underlined the need to reverse the phenomenon and exploit the large growth margins. In closing, he added that to achieve this goal, effective cooperation, and the pursuit of strategies for the joint development and expansion of the variety of exported products are required.

Mr. Sathana KASHEMSANTA NA AYUDHYA, Ambassador of Thailand to Greece, also spoke during the event. This was followed by a special section focusing on bilateral trade relations between Greece and Thailand and the business opportunities presented by the Thai market, in which Ms. Maria Vasilaki of the B5 Directorate of Bilateral Economic Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated, Mr. Visit LIMLURCHA, Vice-Chairman, Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand, Ms. Anongnart MAHASAWAT, Director, Thai Trade Center in Milan, Ms. Sanlaya AKSHARAMAT, Director, Board of Investment of Thailand, Frankfurt Office and Ms. Eleni Albandi from Eurobank. The last section of the event was about doing business in the Thai market, in which Ms. Vicky Karanzavelou, Co-Founder of TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific and Member of the Hellenic-Thai Chamber of Commerce, provided her knowledge, as well as useful advice, answering the relevant questions from both the coordinator of the module, Mr. Panagiotis Hassapis, and those who were present.