The Greek-Egyptian Business Forum was held today (Wednesday, December 5th, 2007) in Athens with the initiative of SEV and the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry, presenting a resounding success. H.E. the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Mohammed Hosny Mubarak, attended and addressed the event, which was also honoured by the presence of eminent personalities from the greek business world.
The Egyptian Minister of Economy, Dr. Yousef Boutros Ghaly, the Minister for Investment, Dr. Mahmud Mohi Eldien, and the Minister for Trade and Industry, Eng. Rachid Mohamed Rachid were also present and took the floor. The event was attended and addressed on behalf of the greek government by the Minister for Development, Mr. Christos Folias and Mr. Petros Doukas, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In his speech, welcoming H.E. Mr. Mubarak and opening the event, SEV’s Secretary General and Head of International Affairs, Dr. Athanase Lavidas, spoke on the huge potential for further developing business cooperation between Greece and Egypt. Dr. Lavidas pointed out that for the greek business community Egypt represents a dynamically expanding market of 70 million potential consumers. He noted that, having accepted responsibility for coordinating BUSINESSEUROPE’s Euro-Mediterranean network and creating stable, long-term cooperation with its counterpart, the Federation of Egyptian Industries, SEV is steadily investing in ever closer bilateral ties aimed at pooling their forces, identifying opportunities, and developing cooperation and alliances. “It is a great honour for the greek business community to enjoy the support of the political leadership in achieving our vision -innovation, competitiveness, quality, progress, prosperity, economic and social well-being”, concluded Dr. Lavidas.
SEV President, Mr. Dimitris Daskalopoulos, then made a short speech, noting that Egypt is an important market in the Southern Mediterranean which, given its current rate of growth, presents great opportunities for greek companies. As was also demonstrated by the recent visit to SEV’s offices by Mr. Rachid, the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Egyptian government attaches strategic importance to strengthening business cooperation between the two countries.
Mr. Daskalopoulos noted that over the coming year within this framework SEV plans to set up a select [group] of leading greek companies to visit Egypt in order to explore further opportunities for economic growth at first hand. Concluding his speech, Mr. Daskalopoulos addressed the President of Egypt and presented him with a symbolic gift on behalf of SEV.
Brief interventions were also made by businessmen involved in major trade and investment cooperations, who shared their experiences to date with the audience. They included Mr. Panos Zeritis, President of the Greek-Egyptian Business Council, Mr. Naguib Sauiris, President of the ORASCOM telecommunications [group], Mr. Giorgos Provopoulos, Vice President of Piraeus Bank, Mr. Panos Kavoulakos, CEO of Hellenic Petroleum, Mr. Andreas Kanellopoulos, President of ΤΙΤΑΝ S.A. and finally Mr. Miltiadis Konstantinidis, CEO of Phosphate Fertilisers Industry S.A.