I would like to thank the organizers of the Forum (i.e the Hellenic Business Council and the OECD Development Centre) for giving me the opportunity to address this important meeting. I believe that the conclusions of this Forum will help us all to better understand the problems, opportunities and prospects for business cooperation in our region.
The diversity of the countries and the economies of the Black Sea Region make generalizations difficult. I think however that one can safely conclude from the presentations and discussions held in the last two days that future economic developments in the region depend basically on two factors:
First, on the growth of the Region itself, its ability to expand intra-regional trade, investment and business cooperation.
Second, on the gradual rapprochement and closer co-operation of the region with the European Union.
The European Industry and Greece in particular, being the only E.U. member in the BSEC, can play an important part in promoting co-operation of the Region with the European Union.
Already, Greece shows an impressive record, as more than 3.000 Greek firms are currently involved in investment activities in the region, a lot of them in the manufacturing sector. On the other hand Greek trade with the countries of the region is also expanding fast: In 1992 the volume of trade was just over 1 billion US dollars, and ten years later has reached 3,67 billion, of which 1,6 billion dollars are imports and 2 billion exports.