Friday, 3 July 2020

Doing business in the USA Webinar


Doing business in the USA Webinar

Athens, 3 July 2020 | More than three hundred companies and organizations participated in a first series of webinars organized by Enterprise Greece, in cooperation with Greek Economic and Commercial Affairs Offices in the US, to promote Greek exports abroad and marking one of several initiatives by the agency to support Greek businesses looking to expand overseas.

The series of three webinars kicked off on 11 June 2020 with "Doing Business in the USA – COVID-19 Challenges and Opportunities," which provided participants with general information about the US market and was organized in cooperation with the Greek Embassy in Washington DC. This was followed by a second webinar, on 24 June, focusing on the food & beverage sector, and with the participation of the Greek Consulate in New York. A third webinar, on June 30 focused on the tech industry and included representation from the Greek consulate in San Francisco, the center of the US tech sector.

The webinars highlighted the opportunities and challenges businesses will face when expanding in the US market in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in the webinars was free of charge and open to all.

The webinar on the food & beverage industry drew 173 participants and included panels on:

  • The current situation and prospects for Greek food exports to the US market
  • The trends and developments in the premium foods market in the US in the post-pandemic era
  • The prospects in the retail food industry and in e-commerce

George Michaelides, Head of the Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Greek Consulate in New York, welcomed the initiative, as a starting point for information and networking activities by the Greek export community, taking advantage of the possibilities that modern technology now offers. Regarding the possibilities and prospects for improving the export performance of Greek food & beverage in the US market, he described them as excellent, provided that serious, well-organized and long-term national marketing programs are implemented, which will make quality Greek food products more widely known to the American consumer. He also stressed the opportunities opening up in e-commerce, especially for SMEs that cannot afford high-cost campaigns to promote their products.

The webinar on technology and innovation drew 197 participants who heard welcome remarks from California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, included presentations on:

  • California's economy, foreign trade, and the tech sector
  • Silicon Valley, the world's technology capital
  • Entering the US market – Strategies for international startups
  • Success in the US – An entrepreneur's perspective

Daphne Vitsikounaki, Head of the Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Greek Consulate in San Francisco, noted the recent acquisitions of the Greek companies, Think Silicon and Softomotive, in the middle of the pandemic, and emphasized that: "these acquisitions show the growing interest that the Greek start-up ecosystem is attracting from abroad.The webinar focused on the effects of the COVID Pandemic and current developments in the global innovation hub, Silicon Valley. Interested Greek technology companies had the opportunity to learn about the specifics of the local market and successful entry strategies. Connecting with Greek-Americans active in the field of technology & innovation in the region must be a priority, as they can offer crucial support to Greek startups.

Betty Alexandropoulou, Executive Director and Board Member, Enterprise Greece, commented, "The promotion of Greek products and the further internationalization of Greek companies are even more imperative at the present time, in response to the economic impact of the pandemic. For this reason, Enterprise Greece, taking advantage of the agency's new digital capabilities, has launched a series of webinars in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry's Economic and Commercial Affairs Offices abroad, aimed at informing our exporters about markets that have export potential. The purpose of our actions and initiatives is always to help reach commercial agreements. That's why we're moving on to the next stage, organizing digital B2Bs for the above sectors in the US market, as well as expanding these webinars to other target markets, starting in September."