Welcome Speech of Mr. Athanassios Skordas, Deputy Minister for Development & Competitiveness

Your Excellences, Honorable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to participate in the 1st multidisciplinary Investment and Business Mission, which is an important effort to develop and strengthen the cooperation between Greece and Kenya.

I would first like to congratulate the organizers of this initiative which brings together the two countries’ entrepreneurs, gives impetus to strengthening economic and trade relations, and leads to finding partnerships for mutual benefit.

We encourage and support such initiatives, which reveal the effort made, for countries like ours, to ensure a better standard of living for their citizens. In this spirit, I welcome the members of the business community of the two countries that are present here today.

The excellent relations between Greece and Kenya and the sincere feelings of friendship, form a solid basis for further strengthening the cooperation between the two countries.

For our country the region of Eastern and Central Africa is of major importance, and we recognize the principal role of Kenya in the wider area.

You are aware that Greece, like other countries in the Eurozone, came four years ago against a serious economic crisis.          Our serious efforts to overcome the crisis are now internationally recognized; therefore I will not proceed to further analysis. The results so far are positive and encouraging. However, we are not complacent, but instead we intensify our efforts, enhancing the extroversion of the Greek economy.

We place great emphasis on development, and form a gradually favorable environment for Greek and foreign entrepreneurs. We support investments with new laws and expand our cooperation with traditional and new countries. In this effort, Kenya is an important friend and partner. Even if we are not ready to form the necessary conditions for development in all sectors, it is certain that, as Greece overcomes the crisis and improves its production model through structural changes, the more policies will be implemented to strengthen entrepreneurship, competitiveness and extroversion.

We follow closely the economic progress of Kenya. We congratulate you. It is not a coincidence that your country is the commercial and financial hub of Eastern and Central Africa.

We are aware of the ambitious yet realistic development plan “Vision 2030”. My country supports the success of this project. The Greek companies are ready to contribute with their expertise and experience, particularly in the areas of energy, infrastructure, construction, health, rural development and others.

On the other hand, given the potential of the two countries, the volume of bilateral trade is still low.  Our economies are complementary and we can and should exploit our competitive advantages. There are great opportunities and prospects for the development of bilateral trade.

The market of Kenya can hold more Greek products which are of high quality and at competitive prices. In terms of investment opportunities the potential is also great.

Present with us today are elite members of the Greek business community, which, I assure you, are seriously interested on long-term    partnerships in relevant sectors of economic activity. This cooperation can be extended also to third countries, where Greece and Kenya have substantial presence.

I want to congratulate and express my sincere gratitude to all the entrepreneurs for their participation in the Forum. I am confident that they will find the most efficient ways for mutual, beneficial partnerships.

We are determined to support such initiatives that create new investment prospects and business opportunities.

With the certainty that today’s event will strengthen decisively the relations of the two countries, I look forward to the success of this Forum and the B2B meetings among the entrepreneurs.

Please accept my sincere thanks for the hospitality and for your attention.