Speech of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, T. Quick, at the Greek-South African Business Forum in Johannesburg (31 October 2017)
“Greek enterprises, wherever they are active abroad, have shown that they are among the top enterprises in the world in terms of dependability, know-how, quality and reliable fulfilment of their contractual obligations. They create jobs for Greeks and locals.
They have deservingly been awarded medium and large business contracts abroad and continue to be sought-after partners in all business sectors.
Today’s business mission to Johannesburg is being carried out in this spirit and, judging from the B2B meetings that began yesterday, will be extremely productive, benefiting Greek businesses and bolstering the internationalization of the Greek economy, which the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working for and supporting.
I convey to you the greetings of Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias, and I want to thank our diplomatic services here for their tireless efforts towards the success of this mission, which was co-organized by the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Greek-African Chamber, and the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV).
Today’s meeting of entrepreneurs in the two countries’ major sectors is the outcome of a visit I carried out to South Africa last February, when, in parallel to my schedule with respect to the Greek community, I had crucial meetings with South African government officials.
Once again I will highlight the important role of diaspora entrepreneurs in the promising ventures being launched today.
Also significant is the presence of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Director.
Even the ‘difficult’ members of the quartet of institutions, the IMF and the ECB, now admit in their public statements that Greece is moving ahead courageously with reforms and is now clearly on the path of economic recovery, after many years of austerity.”
The inauguration of the Greek-African Business Forum was attended by the Greek Ambassador to South Africa, Eleftherios Kouvaritakis, the High Commissioner of Cyprus, Yannis Iacovou, Greece’s Consul General, Ioannis Hatzantonakis, and the President of the Federation of Greek Communities of South Africa, Ioannis Filippou.
Speakers included the President of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), Herman Breedt, SEV Executive Vice President Konstantinos Bitsios, and Christos Christodoulou, a Greek South African lawyer specializing in South African Trade and Aviation Law.