Vicky Pantazopoulou: Hellenic businesses will make the difference in Kenyan market

Speech of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kenya in the Hellenic Republic Mrs. Vicky Pantazopoulou.


Your Excellencies, Honorable Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the Forum for the Investment & Business opportunities and cooperation in Kenya. I would like to extend a special welcome to our guests and keynote speakers from Kenya, H.E. Excellency the Ambassador Mrs. Josephine Gaita and the Chairperson of Kenya Investment Authority Mrs. Anne Wangari Kirima-Muchoki.

It is the first time that such an event is being organized for Kenya in Hellas and I am glad to see my two home countries – one by birth and the other by heart- to move towards business cooperation and support.

As you are aware, Kenya is one of the world’s rapidly growing economies. Despite the global recession, Kenya has an upward trend in political, economic, and social sector.

If I could describe Kenya, I would say that above all, Kenya still keeps its authenticity: in culture, in tradition, in nature, in the way of life. And yet Kenya is simultaneously a modern society that plays a vital role in the wider region of East Africa.

It is indeed an honor for me to serve Kenya as an ή καλύτερα its Honorary Consul in Athens and I am also honored by the support that I have received all these years by the Kenyan government.

I am also honored by the support of the Hellenic government and especially of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the organization of today’s forum and the Deputy Minister of Development, Mr. Athanassios Skordas for being the leader of the Hellenic delegation to Kenya.

Today’s forum is the preamble for the first Investment & Trade Mission that is going to be organized in Nairobi in the middle of September this year. I am sure that today is only the much promising beginning of a constructive relationship between Hellenes and Kenyan business persons as well as between the two friend countries in consequence.

The Investment & Trade Mission event to Kenya aims to bring together businesses from both countries in order to cooperate and develop joint ventures and activities.

Emphasizing in the sectors of public works, technology, education, health, energy, tourism and agriculture, Hellenic Investment & Trade Mission covers several industries provided that sufficient interest would be expressed in time by the Hellenic businesses.

Our objective main effort is the event to be highly organized and to provide the greatest benefits to the participants. I assure you that many people and many bodies from both countries along with the Honorary Consulate of Kenya in Hellas have been working hard for several months now towards this goal.

The Deputy Minister of Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in Nairobi from the Hellenic side. The Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce & Tourism, the Embassy of Kenya in Rome, the Kenya Investment Authority and so many associations and bodies from the Kenyan side are working closely and efficiently for the successful organization of this event.

Addressing to the Hellenic businesses I would say that want to state the following:

You have the knowledge; you have the experience of acting abroad. We provide you with the opportunity to penetrate a dynamic market of almost 140 million people, a market with political and economic stability.

A market that has been characterized as the best investment and business location in Sub-Saharan Africa.

And, sure enough, you will ask now “How can we enter this market”?

As an answer, then, I am telling you these:

First of all, you have to visit Kenya! Your visit to the country is essential in order to make the appropriate meetings and evaluate the business environment before taking any decision. The pre-arranged B2B meetings during the mission will help you explore the possibilities of cooperating with respective Kenyan businesses. And note that, during the mission, you will get solemn information by Kenyan senior officials and business persons will inform you regarding the business and investment scheme.

Secondly, be sure that we will provide you with the needed professional assistance, information, facilitation and advice to enable you take the right investment decision and establish your business successfully in Kenya.

The key to an effective approach of the Kenyan market is for you to be properly prepared before your visit to the country. It is important to know clarify your goals and objectives, what activities you would like to develop in Kenya and to what extent.

Would you like to cooperate with Kenyan businesses?

Would you rather invest alone?

The answer to these questions will help us to provide you with the appropriate B2B meetings, connections and advice.

I am confident that Hellenic businesses will make the difference in Kenyan market as they have done in other parts of the world before.

And last but not least, comes my third answer: Once you are established in Kenya it will be for a life-time! Take my world for granted! The fact alone of such a vast market, is the first and strong assurance.

Shortly In a very short time, our distinguished speakers from Kenya will present you the investment and business opportunities of the country.

But, please, remember that Kenya is much more than that. Kenya is its unique, kind and friendly people. Kenya is its valuable wildlife and thrilling environment. Kenya is its ages old rich tradition.

And as it will become clear to you today, Kenya is looking forward to welcome you all and many more in September.

Thank you!