The Greek government’s determination to pursue investments from Australia was confirmed this week, during the parliamentary budget debate, when the Minister of Economy and Growth, Dimos Papatimitriou officially announced that Enterprise Greece, the government agency that promotes exports and incoming investments, is about to open a Melbourne office, its first outside Greece.
“Greece is in a critical turning point and we should not listen to the siren song of petty interests, but keep steering the economy with a steady hand,” said the Minister, in his address to the parliament, talking about his recent visit to four Australian cities.
Mr Papadimitriou went on to announce that a new investment bank is to be founded, with the task of assisting Greek enterprises in their quest to export and mentioned that more than 700 businesses are already taking part in the ministry’s funding programs. As for foreign investment, Mr Papadimitriou said that Greece is working with the US, Turkey and Israel, which is one of the leading countries for startups, but the first step will be the Enterprise Greece offices in Melbourne, located in the Greek Centre.
“We are pleased with this announcement,” said Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria.
“This announcement demonstrates a resolve by the current Greek government to action matters quickly,” he added.
“As has been reported, we invited the Minister to the Greek Community Building only one month ago and had him meet the key funds and superannuation managers of Australia of Greek background. The meeting was informative from everyone’s perspective.
From the Australian contingent we explained the current framework for funds raising for major infrastructure projects and the relationships of banks and private equity.The Minister provided a detailed assessment of Greece’s position on current projects, taxation incentives and future prospects.
“At the conclusion of the meeting, we proposed that it was important that the Greek Government set up an office of Enterprise Greece in the building owned by the Greek Community of Melbourne. We made it clear that we would offer the space free of charge.”
Mr Papastergiadis stressed the importance of an Enterprise Greece office in Melbourne, as a way to ensure that “this dialogue with the key funds managers was continued,” and explained how the agency would benefit from being based in the Greek Center, given that the building is already a hub for Greek business, with banks, lawyers and schools having offices and attracting thousands of visitors each week.