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Terens Quick - Building Business Partnerships With Greece

The Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Embassy of Greece in South Africa, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises-SEV, the Hellenic African Chamber of Commerce and Development, and the Office for Economic and Commercial Affairs of Greece, hosted a high-level B2B matchmaking programme on 1 November 2017.

The programme included speeches and presentations by the Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Terens Quick and the executive vice chairman of SEV Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, Mr Konstantinos Bitsios.

The event gave Greek companies and their South African counterparts an opportunity to build strategic bilateral alliances and establish valuable longterm contacts for joint venture agreements. The areas of energy, construction, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, building materials, food, as well as other export sectors are a focus of business interest.

Terens Quick said, "Greek enterprises, wherever they are active abroad, have shown that they are among the top enterprises in the world in terms of dependability, know-how, quality and reliable fulfilment of their contractual obligations. They create jobs for Greeks and locals. They have deservingly been awarded medium and large business contracts abroad and continue to be sought-after partners in all business sectors." "Although political relations, between Greece and South Africa are exceptional, still our bilateral trade is lagging behind. This is one further reason why the excellent level of our relations needs to have economic and commercial substance. A key element for enhancing our economic relations is overcoming the barriers that stand in the way (i.e. bureaucracy or the non-tariff barriers). The objective is clear: to further promote bilateral economic relations, we need to create more opportunities. Opportunities to our mutual benefit that will spur growth, create jobs and grow both our economies."

In 2016, bilateral trade between Greece and South Africa amounted to 99.85 million euro (92.36 million euro in 2015). Although there was an increase of 8.1%, the total figures still remain well below potential.

Greek exports to South Africa amounted to 52.92 million euro in 2016 compared to 49.18 million euro in 2015 (an increase of 7.7%). As far as Greek imports from South Africa are concerned, they reached 46.93 million euro in 2016 compared to 43.18 million euro in 2015, with an increase of 8.8%.

In 2016, the main Greek exports to South Africa were: pharmaceutical preparations (12.5 million euro), wires and cables (4.7 million euro), phone circuits (3.4 million euro), plastic material and products (3 million euro).

In comparison, for the same year, major Greek imports from South Africa were: motor vehicles (14.9 million euro), citrus fruits (3.9 million euro), crustaceans (3.5 million euro) and copper (3.4 million euro).

Greece has evolved as the economic hub of southeastern Europe. Despite the economic crisis that has emerged, mainly since 2010, Greece remains appealing as a trade partner because it offers businesspeople a wide variety of business opportunities that take advantage of the country's strategic geographic location and unique competitive advantages. Greece is a natural gateway to more than 140 million consumers in southeast Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, a region with a GDP of almost 1 trillion euro. As the hub of diverse emerging markets, Greece provides access to populations with a strong demand for consumer goods, infrastructure modernisation, technology and innovation networks, energy, tourism development, and light manufacturing.

At the same time, Greek companies and banks are active in the markets of neighbouring countries. Foreign businessmen are discovering that Greece has a combination of characteristics that are unequalled in Europe. Greece is a leading global tourism destination, an emerging regional energy hub, and possesses highly educated and multilingual human capital. Enterprise Greece (www.enterprisegreece.gov.gr/en/home),
as the competent Greek Authority (one-stop shop) is designed to assist foreign enterprises to do business with Greece, to attract foreign investment, to make Greece more attractive to new business partners and to provide key investment and business information. Enterprise Greece promotes the entire range of business and trade sectors in which Greece excels and especially in the key sectors in which the country offers a highly compelling advantage: tourism, energy, food and agriculture, logistics, ICT, environmental management, and life sciences.

 Terens Quick - Building Business Partnerships With Greece.PNG

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