PRESS RELEASE – 5th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum

It is with great success that the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development organized the “5th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum”, on 29-30 November 2016 at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens.

The opening session was attended by H.E. the Minister of Shipping and Islands Policy, Mr. Panagiotis Kouroumblis, Arab Ambassadors accredited to Greece, the President of the Union of Arab Chambers, H.E. Senator Na’el Raja Al Kabariti, dignitaries and businessmen from Greece and the Arab world.

The Secretary General, of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber, Mr. Rashad Mabger, along with the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Harris Geronikolas, warmly welcomed the attendees and guests. H.E. the Ambassador of Libya, Mr. Ahmed Yagob Gzlall, delivered a speech on behalf of the Council of Arab Ambassadors, elaborating on the existing friendly relations between Greece and the Arab world, followed by Mr. Al Kabariti who, in his turn, commented on the role of the Arab-foreign joint chambers in enhancing Arab relations with their hosting countries and praised the instrumental role of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber for its work on the Arab-Greek relations. Minister Kouroumblis spoke about the abundance of investment opportunities in Greece, with special reference to maritime investment and called upon the Arab side to explore these opportunities.

A ceremony for signing contracts for the formation of the first private Maritime Academy in Greece took place between the Arab academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport represented by Prof. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghafar Ismail Farag, President of the Academy and City Unity College, represented by Mr. Harris Geronikolas, Executive Chairman. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between Al-Sraiya Holding Group of Qatar, represented by Mr. Rashid Naser Sraiya Al Kaabi, Vice President of the Group and Weiss Hellas-Interna S.A., represented by Mr. Abdul Azim Weiss, President of the company.

The focus and opening session of this year’s Forum was on Maritime and Port Industries and Services in Greece, Egypt and Lebanon with regard to the Opportunities and Potentials for further cooperation. In addition, another three sessions followed: one dealt with Construction, Building Materials and Energy and the other on Investment in Real Estate and Tourism. The fourth and last session was exclusively reserved for the progress made in the Food-Processing Industry in Greece. At the end of each session there was an interactive Q&A session with the audience.

On the margin of this Forum, in the afternoon of the same say, an exclusive workshop was held, attended by some ship-owners and executives in the maritime sectors, during which they were presented with the information on the formation of the first private Maritime Academy. The presenter of this workshop was Mr. Harris Geronikolas, President of City Unity College and Capt. Ahmed Youssef, Director of International Forum for Maritime Transport at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.

The official dinner was attended by H.E. the Deputy Minister of Investment, Mr. Stergios Pitsiorlas, Arab Ambassadors, the President of the Union of Arab Chambers and the Advisor to the President of the Republic of Iraq, H.E. Mr. Shirwan Al Waeili. As a keynote speaker, Mr. Tawfic Said Khoury, Executive Vice Chairman, C.C.C, the Strategic Sponsor of this Forum, who emphasized on the excellence of relations between Greece and the Arab world and the investment opportunities both sides can offer to each other. Afterwards, Mr. Pitsiorlas elaborated on the abundance of investment opportunities in Greece and called upon greater cooperation between the Arab and Greek side. After the customary exchange of gifts, another MoU was signed between Midein Investment LLC, U.A.E., represented by Mrs. Reed Al-Dhaheri, Executive President of the Company and Board Member of Abu Dhabi Chamber, and Image Media Ltd, represented by its President, Mr. George Gamaris.

On 30th November, the scheduled B2B meetings took place between more than 130 Arab businessmen representing more than 80 companies and the registered 120 Greek companies in various sectors.

The Arab-Hellenic Chamber avails itself of the opportunity to extend its gratitude and appreciation for the official auspices granted to the 5th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum from the League of Arab States, the Ministry of Economy and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece and the Union of Arab Chambers.

We pride ourselves for our association with regard to the support and special contribution by Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Qatar Chamber, Jordan Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli and North Lebanon.

Our gratitude and appreciation go to all the sponsors of this Forum who certainly contributed to its success. The Arab-Hellenic Chamber will continue to exert all the necessary efforts towards the enhancement of relations between Greece and the Arab world.

The Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development