On the occasion of honouring the United Arab Emirates as this year’s guest country at the 86th International Fair of Thessaloniki (10-18 September, 2022), the Arab-Hellenic Chamber, in cooperation with the Embassy of the UAE in Athens, Greece, co-organized a Ministerial Greek-Emirati RoundTable Discussion between H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, UAE, and H.E. Adonis Georgiadis, Minister of Development & Investment, Greece, on September 10th at Emilios Riadis Hall. The discussion was moderated by Rashad Mabger, the Secretary General of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber. The two Ministers elaborated on the various investment opportunities and future economic and commercial relations between the two countries.
On 15 September, the Arab-Hellenic Chamber, in collaboration with TIF-HELEXPO, organized the Greece – UAE Business Gathering, in the framework of the 3rd Thessaloniki Helexpo Forum, at “Ioannis Vellidis” International Congress Centre. This event, a miniature version of our Chamber’s regular conferences, focused on topics of interest for the two sides. The event started with an introduction by Rashad Mabger, the Secretary General of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber, followed by a opening speech by Kyriakos Pozrikidis, CEO of TIF-HELEXPO, and a keynote address by H.E. Sulaiman Hamed Salem Almazroui, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates.
The first session, entitled “Identifying Potential for Cooperation in Maritime, Port Industries & Environmental Waste Management,” included a discussion between Mr. Athanasios Liagkos, Executive Chairman & CEO, Thessaloniki Port Authority, Mr. Makis Spyratos, Business Development Director, POLYGREEN S.A., Greece and Damianos Efthymiadis, Business Development Director, Archirodon Group NV, Greece. The discussion, which was moderated by Mr. George K. Xiradakis, Founder and Managing Director of XRTC Business Consultants, offered an overview of the related industries and the opportunities offered by the two sides, and included an impromptu call on the stage of Mr. Evangelos Kyriazopoulos, Secretary General of Ports, Port Policy and Maritime Investments of the Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, who was attending the session. Mr. Kyriazopoulos’ intervention provided the governmental outlook on the issues under discussion.
The second session, entitled “Agri-Food and Fish Farming: Bilateral Exchange of Experiences and Potential Cooperation,” included speakers of the level of Mr. Dimitris Thomopoulos, Commercial Attaché in the Greek Embassy in the UAE, Prof. Ahmed El Tigani, CEO, Al Rawabi Dairy Co. LLC, UAE, Mr. Thomas Douzis, Co-founder & CEO, ERGON FOODS and Mr. Andreas Ntatsopoulos, Biologist – Aquaculture Consultant, Greece. Rashad Mabger, Secretary General of the Chamber, moderated the discussion, which reached the conclusion that the United Arab Emirates is a promising and interesting market for Greek products, albeit a challenging one, vis-à-vis the competitive international products offered there.
The third session, entitled “Opportunities for Investment with Particular Focus on Tourism and Real Estate Industries,” provided a floor for an interesting discussion between Prof. Dr. Haris Lambropoulos, President, Hellenic Development Bank B.D. Member, Athens Chamber of Commerce & of Investments S.A. & B.D. Member, Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce & Development, and Mr. Apostolos Panas, Secretary of the Hellenic Parliament, Member of Parliament Halkidiki, Head of the Development & Investment Sector of the Movement for Change – PA.SO.K., who demonstrated their significant experience in their respective areas of expertise. The discussion was moderated by Mrs. Maria Mathiopoulou, Journalist and Press Officer of HELEXPO.
All in all, both events could not have come at a better time, as we are currently experiencing an unprecedented dynamic of strategic relations between the UAE and Greece. We, at the Arab-Hellenic Chamber, salute TIF-HELEXPO Management for honouring the United Arab Emirates at Thessaloniki International Fair as we believe it was a timely initiative that sealed the focus and dedication of the two countries to consolidate their existing friendly relations at all business levels.