Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry host ‘Discover Australia and NZ’ event

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The informative event on: “Discover Australia and New Zealand”, by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the SEV Association of Enterprises and Industries, the Hellenic Investment and Foreign Trade Company (Enterprise Greece) and the Association of Exporters (SEVE), on Tuesday March 5, 2024, at the ACCI.

The event, where 70 institutions took part, aimed to inform businessmen about the markets of Australia and New Zealand and specifically about the business and investment opportunities presented by these countries, as well as the potential for the penetration of Greek products.

Australia and New Zealand, although distant from Greece, present business opportunities for Greek exporters in a variety of sectors, while maintaining historical ties with the country and the Greek diaspora.

The event was welcomed on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, by its President, Mrs Sofia Kounenaki Efraimoglou, who said that the level of bilateral relations with both countries is excellent as despite the geographical distance, there are strong historical and homogeneous ties.

Sofia Kounenaki Efraimoglou.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Sofia Kounenaki Efraimoglou.

Regarding Australia specifically, Ms Efraimoglou said that “economic relations are booming, with the balance of payments being in surplus for our country over time – and Greek exports increasing steadily in recent years. The scope for growth in trade with New Zealand is even wider”, according to Efraimoglou, “given that it is currently at relatively low levels. The implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and New Zealand will also in this case create new prospects for Greek businesses. For our part, as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we remain here to support your efforts in every way possible – in partnership and cooperation with the country’s official extroversion agencies.”

The Director of International Relations and Regional Development of SEV, Ms Vicky Makriyannis, followed by referring to the prospects for cooperation between our country, Australia and New Zealand, emphasising opportunities for further strengthening our economic and commercial ties in sectors such as energy, construction materials, technology services and tourism. The recent EU-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement was also acknowledged, which is estimated to deliver a 30% increase in bilateral trade between the EU and New Zealand.

The CEO of Enterprise Greece, Dr. Marinos Giannopoulos, said: “The further development of economic relations between Greece – Australia and Greece – New Zealand will create a strategic alliance based on shared values and common economic benefits. The active Greek diaspora in Australia and New Zealand is a catalyst for further upgrading bilateral trade. The entrepreneurial spirit of our peoples helps us chart a course towards shared prosperity and sustainable growth”.

In his address, the Executive Vice President of SEVE, Mr Panagiotis Hasapis, stressed the cultural similarity between the people of Greece, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the significant Greek population that resides in these countries, Hasapis also presented the total value of Greek exports for 2023, which amounted to 210 million euros for Australia and New Zealand. He also highlighted that half of the products destined for Australia belonged to the food and beverage sector, as due to its high standard of living, with a per capita GDP of about $63,500, there is a high demand for such high value-added products.

Subsequently, speeches were delivered by the Ambassador of Australia to Greece, Ms. Alison Duncan, the Ambassador of New Zealand to Greece, Ms. Jackie Frizelle, and the new Ambassador of Greece to Australia and New Zealand, Mr. Stavros Venizelos.

The session focusing on Greece’s bilateral trade relations with the Australian and New Zealand markets and the business opportunities presented by these markets was attended by the Commercial Attaché of Greece to Australia, Ms. Chrysa Prokopaki, and the Honorary Consul of New Zealand to Greece, Ms. Ioanna Guvatsou.

The coordination of the first three sessions was undertaken by Mr. Fanis Matsopoulos, Member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In the last session of the event, coordinated by Hasapis, which focused on doing business in the Australian and New Zealand markets, Mr. Vassilis Bairaktaris from ELEA CRETA – SPARTAN TREASURE – STROFILIA ESTATE, Mr. Thodoris Mellos from ALCHIMICA Building Chemicals and Mr. Ioannis Ververidis from KLEEMANN Group presented their experience.

Source: Capital.gr.

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